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Pay Groups of the Second Stimulus Check: Will Your Check Come First or Last?


Which pay group you are in can affect when you get your second stimulus check.

Angela Lang / CNET

Within two weeks, the IRS and the United States Treasury will try tens of millions second stimulus controls before reaching the January 15 limit. It is true, this deadline is actually written in it $ 900 incentive bill. In the meantime, payments will continue until then direct deposit, physical checks and EIP cards.

So far, the IRS has acted quickly, but with such a tight deadline, chances are not everyone will is eligible for more incentive money get their check right away. (Here’s how calculate the total of your stimulus check.) Others roadblocks can also potentially stop your second stimulus control. Where you fit into the payment schedule can give you a sense of whether or not you’ll be among the first to get a second stimulus check for up to $ 600 per person, or almost to the end. (This is why some people may not get a check at all.)

Below we explain what we know. By the way, the last minute push to replace the $ 600 checks with up to $ 2,000 died in the Senate January 1, but President-elect Joe Biden has already committed to one third stimulus check in 2021. Read on to learn more about which IRS payment group you are in. This story was recently updated.

Direct deposit people who have already set up have the advantage

People who use their direct deposit information registered with the IRS are among the first group to receive a stimulus check. A wire transfer of money is faster and more efficient than sending a check, which means the IRS can process many more people faster. Some have already received their money via direct deposit starting December 29th.

As of Jan. 2, the IRS has not allowed you to sign up for direct deposit if you don’t already have it, or to track your payment, but we expect the online tool to be activated in the next week. Here are ways you can help speed up the delivery of your next check, including what we know now sign up for direct deposit.

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Second stimulus checks: everything you need to know


Beneficiaries of social security fall into two categories

On the first stimulus payment, many people who received Social Security benefits who also had direct deposit information registered with the federal government received checks in the first week, but not always on the first day.

The IRS had a separate information section for people that receive SSDI and SSI. Normally, people in these groups receive their federal benefits through a Direct Express card, although people in this group received their incentive payment through a non-Direct Express bank. or a paper check.

Paper checks are already on the way, but know this

The IRS began sending the first paper checks in the mail on Wednesday, Dec. 30 (here’s how you can track your stimulus check to your mailbox). That’s much faster than the first time, but there are still two major limitations to be aware of.

According to a June report by the Government Accountability Office, the U.S. Treasury can process between 5 million and 7 million paper incentive checks per week, in addition to checks for other federal programs, meaning some people will have to wait.

Then there is this catch. Language in the Incentive Act sets a Jan. 15 closing for the IRS to send payments. So anyone who didn’t receive his on January 15th will have to do it claim it early 2021 during tax season. That gives people who signing up for direct deposit is a clear benefit.

The timing then becomes a matter of how soon you file your taxes for 2020 and how quickly the IRS could process your return. These two scenarios are influenced by different factors. For example, people filing their tax return in February would likely receive their stimulus check money – in the form of a Refund Discount – months for people waiting until the April 15 deadline or submitting an extension.


When you get your incentive money it may depend on who you are.

Sarah Tew / CNET

The first batch of EIP cards will arrive much faster this time

EIP debit cards are prepaid Visa cards the IRS can send you instead of a paper check – the envelope will look unmarked, so be careful not to throw out your mail without carefully checking first ( free tracking tool can help). The IRS has said it will start shipping EIP cards this week, a change from the first month’s delay in sending this type of payment. The same rules apply as paper checks. If you didn’t receive yours by January 15th, you will need a Refund Discount between January 16 and April 15 as part of the tax season.

People with more complex situations can wait the longest

For the first check, this category includes people who received a check after June, have not yet received their full incentive payment, or who didn’t know they had to go the extra mile. It is not clear what would happen if there was a problem during the process and the Refund Discount was further delayed. It’s likely that the IRS would set a different, later deadline to address clerical errors such as missing out on incentive money and other scenarios.

What to do if you don’t receive the full amount from a stimulus check

It’s not always clear how much money the IRS owes you in the event of an error. We recommend starting with our second stimulus check calculator or the calculator for the first stimulus check and this introduction how the IRS gives your total sum in tabular form. If the numbers seem lower than they should be, you may want to investigate further.

See if any of these situations might apply to you: Are you missing out on $ 500 allotted for your dependent children, or you pay or receive child support? Are you a taxpayer non-applicant who may be due a stimulus check (including older adults and people who Receive SSI or SSDI)?

If you have a US citizen abroad or resident in US territory and did not receive a check as expected, you may also need to read the rules. And a court order has made it possible for millions people who are locked up to get a check even after the IRS changed its interpretation to exclude this group.

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