With the election quickly approaching (and early voting already underway), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have agreed to resume negotiations on a new economic relief bill with a second stimulus payment, in hopes of passing a package before Nov. 3. To spur talks, House Democrats are working on a $2.4 trillion relief plan that could see a vote as soon as next week.
As part of the stimulus package, you may get payment from the government.
If another stimulus check finally materializes, we can predict how much you may qualify to get under new eligibility requirements — CNET’s stimulus calculator can also help you estimate the actual amount you could get. And here are the most important facts about stimulus checks. This story is updated often.
How to figure out if your check could be larger than $1,200
The $1,200 figure for individuals is based on guidelines from the last stimulus bill and two proposals, and uses your adjusted gross income, or AGI, to help determine the total you could personally expect.
But the total amount also varies depending on your family circumstances, like more money if you file jointly with your spouse and money for dependents as part of the total sum. A new change could bring more money total if dependents of any age qualify for this extra sum in a new check.
We lay out some potential scenarios below, based on our stimulus check calculator, which you can also use to get a more specific estimate for your particular situation.
4 ways the IRS could deliver your money
Being owed a check is one thing, but receiving it is another. Here’s how the IRS is likely to send a second check, based on the first.
Direct deposit to your bank account: The IRS already has a system in place to electronically transfer the funds into your checking account. That is, if you already provided those details if you registered for direct deposit with your first check or as part of filing your IRS tax return. This is expected to be the fastest way to get your stimulus check — look for the registration tool to reopen if another check passes.
A paper check in the mail: If you don’t share your direct deposit details with the IRS, look for a physical check in the mail. You’ll wait longer for it, and if you’re recently moved, you’ll need to file a change of address with the US Postal Service, since the IRS will mail your check to your last known address.
EIP card: The IRS sent about 4 million people a prepaid economic impact payment card in the mail. This is money you can spend like cash on a debit card. The cards came in plain, unmarked envelopes. It took longer to receive than a paper check or direct deposit.
If you’re still waiting for your first stimulus check, follow these steps.
This is how Americans used the first round of stimulus checks
A recent survey looked at how Americans are using their stimulus checks. According to research from the National Bureau of Economic Research:
In general, the report found that lower-income households were significantly more likely to spend their stimulus checks, higher-income individuals were more likely to save it and those with mortgages or who were renters were much more likely to pay off debt.
According to the US Census Bureau, here’s the breakout for households that spent their stimulus checks on items other than savings or paying down debt.
- 80% of those who spent their checks reported using it on food.
- 77.9% spent it on rent, mortgage and utilities.
- 58.2% bought household supplies and personal care products.
- 20.5% purchased clothing.
- 8.1% spent it on household goods — such as TVs, electronics, furniture and appliances — or recreational goods, including fitness equipment, toys and games.
Looking for more stimulus check information? Read up on all the finer points of the stimulus payment here. If you’re still waiting for your first stimulus check, here are 10 possible reasons for a delay, what you can do if you think your payment was lost or has fallen through the cracks and if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS.
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