Many Americans could soon receive their $1,400 stimulus checks as part of President Joe Biden’s sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.
According to the White House, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service will begin to distribute the payments to bank accounts as early as this weekend. Those who provided their direct deposit information when they filed their taxes for 2019 or 2020 will be among the first to receive the checks.
“This is, of course, just the first wave, but some people in the country will start seeing those direct deposits in their bank accounts this weekend,” press secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing yesterday, “and payments to eligible Americans will continue throughout the course of the next several weeks.”
Those whose information has already been obtained by the IRS through other government programs — including individuals who received any Social Security retirement or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income, Veteran Affairs disability compensation or pension benefits and railroad retirement benefits — can also expect to receive their payments sooner rather than later.
As for qualifications, individuals with annual earnings of less than $75,000 and couples who take home less than $150,000 will still receive the full $1,400 payments — for couples, that’s $1,400 apiece — as outlined in Biden’s original proposal. However, individuals who make more than $80,000 each year and couples bringing in more than $160,000 will not receive even partial checks. This differs from the prior two rounds of aid, which offered reduced stimulus payments to individuals with earnings between $80,000 and $100,000 as well as couples with earnings between $160,000 and $200,000.
The IRS is expected to update its “Get My Payment” portal with information about the 2021 Economic Impact Payment, which would allow Americans to track the status of their aid as well as confirm whether the payment was sent as a paper check or direct deposit.
Biden had originally been expected to sign his American Rescue Plan into law today but opted to do so before his first prime-time address to the nation, marking the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns. Beyond the stimulus payments, the legislation includes an ongoing $300 boost to weekly unemployment assistance as well as an extension of that assistance; an expansion of the child tax credit of up to $3,600 per child; $350 billion in state and local aid; billions of dollars for schools and small businesses; as well as funding for COVID-19 vaccine research, development and distribution.
“This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving people in this nation, working people, middle class folks, people who built the country, a fighting chance,” Biden said in the Oval Office before he signed the bill. “That’s what the essence of it is.”