Personal Finance

The next round of stimulus checks is on the way. What you need to know

Key Points
  • Millions of Americans will receive another round of coronavirus stimulus checks.
  • Here's who qualifies and when you might see the money.
Federal stimulus checks are prepared for printing at the Philadelphia Financial Center.
Jeff Fusco | Getty Images

Another round of coronavirus stimulus payments is on the way for the millions of Americans financially struggling because of the public health crisis.

President Donald Trump on Sunday night signed a $900 billion Covid relief package into law, days after he suggested he would block the bill if the stimulus checks weren't raised to $2,000, from $600. (That never happened: House Republicans quickly shot down Democrats' attempts at passing $2,000 payments.)

How $600 stimulus checks and boosted unemployment benefits help the economy

The last sweeping aid package Congress passed in March, the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, authorized stimulus checks of up to $1,200 per person. After months of negotiations between Republicans and Democrats over the shape of the second relief bill, they agreed to make the checks $600.

More from Personal Finance:
Here's what new Covid relief bill offers unemployed workers
Jobless workers pain, despair reaching new heights
These colleges are slashing tuition for 2021

The legislation also gives unemployed people a $300 a week federal boost for at least 10 weeks and makes food stamps payments more generous, among many other provisions in the 5,500-page bill.

Why $1,200 stimulus checks were dropped from December's Covid relief package

Here's what you need to know about this latest round of stimulus checks.

How much will the payments be?

The new checks will be for up to $600 per adult and $600 per child.

Individuals with up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income will receive that full payment, as will heads of household earning up to $112,500 and married couples making up to $150,000.

Those with earnings above these levels will receive a partial payment that drops by $5 for every $100 in income.

If you earned much less in 2020 than in 2019, you may not receive a stimulus payment but can still claim this money in the form of a tax credit when you file.

When will I get my check?

Five stimulus benefits set to expire at the end of 2020

If the IRS has your direct deposit information, you'll be among the first to receive the payment. The check could be in your account within two weeks.

A senior official at the Treasury Department told CNBC it anticipates that people could start receiving their payments as early as this week.

Those who haven't shared that information with the IRS can expect to get a paper check or prepaid debit card — and, unfortunately, to wait longer for their money.

The Treasury can deliver 5 million to 7 million paper checks a week.

When the first checks were deployed in March, one congressional timeline estimated it would take up to 20 weeks to get the money out. However, millions of eligible people are still waiting.

What if I still didn't receive my first stimulus check?

When you file your 2020 taxes, you can claim what is known as a "recovery rebate credit."

This credit will either leave you with a larger tax refund or decrease what you owe.

-- Additional reporting by Lorie Konish.

Have you lost your health insurance during the pandemic and had to skip medical appointments or go without medications or treatments? If you're willing to share your experience for a story, please email me at

Three ways the stimulus money may change your 2020 tax return