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7 ways you can prepare now for the next stimulus check


Speed ​​up your payment by making sure everything is in order before taking a second incentive invoice.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Congress would take place on a Sunday Incentive package of $ 900 billion that includes one second stimulus control for $ 600 per adult and a change in qualifications for stimulus payments that could affect your family members. Although the content of the latter COVID-19 lump sum payment for 2020 are still being finalized by top US dealmakers, a second stimulus control would be agreed. (Here’s how even one third stimulus check also.)

How can you save your next stimulus check faster than last time, when it comes? We have some suggestions based on common issues that have delayed delivery of the first stimulus check. In some cases, taking care of possible roadblocks now can also put you in a different situation incentive payment group priority, what your second stimulus check money could arrive earlier.

Also keep in mind that incentive payments come with some additional considerations for people who are over 65 years of age or retired, people who Receive SSI or SSDI and other groups of people who may be on the edge of qualification for a second stimulus check. We recently updated this story with the latest details.

read more: Third stimulus check for 2021? Why the new Congress holds the key

If you’ve moved, change your address with the IRS now

If you’ve moved to a new address after filing your 2019 tax return (or at any point during the coronavirus pandemic), you’ll need to do two things to make sure your stimulus check can reach you by mail: tell the USPS where you went and also notify the IRS.

You should do this even if your new location is temporary – you can always update it if you move again. Even when your first check came by direct deposit (meaning your second check probably would too), you still want to make sure your address is up to date so that you receive the IRS letter confirming when your payment was sent. When the letter arrives, but your money doesn’t, you know you have a problem to solve.

To change your address with USPS, go to usps.com/move. To do this with the IRS, you have three options: fill out Form 8822, change your address over the phone, or notify the IRS in writing to ‘the address where you filed your last return’ by using your full name, your old and new addresses, your social security number, the identification number of the individual taxpayer or employer identification number and your signature. (Find more detailed instructions at how to change your address to receive your stimulus, check here.)

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Set up a direct deposit with the IRS

If you have a bank, you can use the IRS Get my payment online service to set up instant deposit for your stimulus payment, and find out the status of your check and see if something stops payment. The initial May deadline to sign up for direct deposit for your first check has passed, but will likely reopen when and if a second check occurs.

Make sure your bank details are up to date

Changing your bank status can delay the receipt of your incentive payment. According to an analysis by the Urban Institute think tank, black Americans and other people of color are more likely to have “bank money” than white Americans. People who identify as white and whose income was above the poverty line were more likely to have received their first stimulus check by the end of May than people who identify as black, Hispanic or below the poverty line, the analysis found, because the first wave of payment went to people who registered their bank account information with the IRS.

Several major banks, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, are now offering more affordable check-free bank accounts as part of a government-backed effort to help people enter the banking system.

A second check will likely arrive in the same way as a first check. If you are a person without a bank account and your first payment came in by mail, check, or EIP card, a second will probably come in the same way.


If you keep your child support payments on time, you are more likely to keep an eye on all of your incentives.

Sarah Tew / CNET

No tax return required in 2018 or 2019? Fill in this specific form

People who earned below the threshold to file federal income tax returns in 2018 or 2019 were not given an incentive check unless they completed an online non-affiliate form for the IRS (This group includes low-income families and children and a disproportionate number of black people and people of color).

If your first check is still missing, you unfortunately missed the November 21st deadline for non-affiliates, but can claim it on your taxes for 2020 next year. (You can use our calculator to estimate how much you might be eligible to receiveYou should also complete the non-affiliate form so that the IRS has your information on file when a second check is approved.

If you have child benefit in arrears, pay it off as soon as possible

If you spend more than $ 150 in child benefit arrears (called arrears), your state may reserve the right to garnish all or part of your first stimulus checkbased on how much you owe. This would likely be the case if a second stimulus check is also passed. If possible, you should pay any child support overdue as soon as possible to make sure you get your full stimulus check, as well as any possible payment for your child.

If you owe child support, you can receive money from your child’s other parent, although it may take a while to get to you after it has been processed by the state. Read more about how child support here influences stimulation controls.


Are all your affairs in order before a new check is decided? Now is the time to act.

Angela Lang / CNET

Sort your tax papers

like you missed the extended deadline to file your taxes for 2019 (that was on October 15), you can still submit late. There is no penalty for doing this if you owe a refund, but if you owe the IRS money, starting July 16, 2020, you will be subject to penalties and interest for any remaining unpaid taxes, along with a $ 300 file penalty for non-compliance .

However, if you owe federal taxes or have other federal debts, the IRS won’t cut your incentive payment to cover those – the only exception is if you owe child support. For those who don’t file taxes, though missed the Nov. 21 deadlinenext year, you can declare your payment on your 2020 tax return. (Important caveat: if you filed a 2019 tax refund, even if you weren’t required to do so, don’t use the nonfilers tool – it just slows down processing your declaration and possible return.)

Make sure you qualify for a stimulus check

Not everyone is eligible for a second stimulus check. The overall qualifications for receiving a first stimulus check under the March CARES Act would probably hold for a second.

This is who qualified for the first round, based on your total income about your taxes in 2018 or 2019:

  • If you are a single filer making less than $ 99,000
  • If you register as the head of a household and earn less than $ 146,500
  • If you file with your spouse and earn less than $ 198,000

However, there are many exceptions and rules depending on your situation (you can find more detailed list of stimulus check qualifications here). Find out what your stimulus check might look like if you receive SSI or SSDI, if you have dependents, if you are a young adult or if you are over 65 or retired. And you can use our tool to help you calculate how much incentive money you could receive.

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