Everything You Need to Know About the Third Stimulus Checks

You have probably heard by now about the latest wave of third stimulus checks issued as part of the American Rescue Plan under the newly elected Biden administration. These checks will be issued to millions of individuals across the country, with the aim of bolstering low and middle income Americans who have experienced severe economic impacts due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read on for everything you need to know about this third round of stimulus checks.

PAYMENT AMOUNTS AND ELIGIBILITY

Roughly 145 million taxpaying Americans will receive third stimulus checks in the amount of $1,400. Eligibility applies to singles with under $75,000 in gross adjusted income as well as household heads with income under $112,500 or jointly filed married couples with combined income under $150,000. Dependents aged 23 or younger are also eligible for stimulus checks, as are elderly dependent adults. Unlike previous relief bills, where stimulus check amounts were reduced proportionally to earnings above the threshold, there will be a hard cap on partial stimulus payments set at $80,000 for singles and $160,000 for jointly filed married couples. Income eligibility is based on 2019 or 2020 tax filings, and those who are eligible must be able to provide a Social Security number.

DISTRIBUTION TIMELINE

The American Rescue Plan was officially signed into law on March 11, 2021, and many individuals have received their third stimulus checks already. Timing of receipt typically depends on how checks are distributed on an individual basis. Those with bank account details on record with the IRS should received direct deposits fairly quickly. Those who require mailed checks will likely have to wait longer. You can check on the status of your stimulus check through the IRS Get My Payment website.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

These are just the basics of the third stimulus checks, but many people still have a lot of related concerns. Here are some common questions:

  • What other financial support is in the bill? The bill also includes child tax credits for lower income families, extension of $300 in additional weekly unemployment benefits, rental assistance, mortgage payment assistance, and various tax exemptions for the unemployed or those who had student loan debt canceled
  • Are there any healthcare cost supplements? Yes, for those covered through the Affordable Care Act, there will be capped premiums and increased subsidies to cover the cost of individual health insurance
  • Can I get retroactive stimulus payments? Yes, if you missed either of the two prior stimulus checks, you can claim the money via the new 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit as part of your tax refund

FUTURE STIMULUS CHECKS

Despite receiving the latest round of stimulus checks, many are still struggling to get by and are concerned about the prospect of additional support with future stimulus checks. September 2021 would likely be the earliest that a new round of stimulus checks would be passed since unemployment benefits have been extended through September 2021, inclusive of the $300 additional weekly supplement. In an ideal world, however, the state of affairs will have improved considerably by then, and more people will hopefully be back on their feet.

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