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


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

Angela Lang / CNET

The IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department have an ever-diminishing time span to process tens of millions second stimulus controls before their time runs out. It is true, a January 15 deadline is written in the $ 900 incentive bill, after which the government must stop this payment wave. Meanwhile, the second stimulus controls will keep going direct deposit, physical checks and EIP cards. (Here is how to track it with the IRS and in the mail.)

So far, the IRS has acted quickly, but with such a tight schedule, not everyone is likely to is eligible for more incentive money get their payment right away. (Here’s how calculate the total of your stimulus check.) Others roadblocks can also potentially stop your second stimulus control also. Therefore, your position in the payment schedule can give you an idea of ​​whether or not you will be among the first to take a second stimulus check for up to $ 600 per person, or almost to the end off the line. (Remember, these people may not get a check at all.)

The IRS is doing it differently this time, but we’ll explain what we know about priority below. And if you’re wondering what happened at the last minute replace the $ 600 checks with up to $ 2,000, that’s over for now, unless or until the new Congress takes on a bigger stimulus check. Meanwhile, President-elect Joe Biden has already committed to one third stimulus check in 2021. Keep reading to learn more about which IRS payment group you are in. This story was recently updated.

People who have already set up a direct deposit 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 on December 29th.

On January 4, the IRS turned on its tool to follow your second stimulus check online, but you can’t sign up for or change your direct deposit information.

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Second stimulus checks: everything you need to know


Beneficiaries of social security fall into these 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, although not always 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 on the way, but the deadline is looming

The IRS began sending the first paper checks in the mail on Wednesday, Dec. 30 (here’s how you can follow 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 sign up for instant deposit 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 wave 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 (this 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 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 is likely that the IRS would set a different, later deadline to address clerical errors such as missing out on incentive funds and other scenarios.

What to do if you don’t get 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 the $ 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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