Stimulus update: When to expect $600 checks and $300 enhanced unemployment payments
You can’t blame Americans for being eager to receive their stimulus money: With a weakening economic recovery and an out-of-control pandemic, the direct payments included in the $900 billion stimulus package signed into law by President Donald Trump on Dec. 20 are literally a lifeline for millions of Americans.
That $900 billion economic aid package set aside money to send most Americans a $600 stimulus check—down from the $1,200 checks sent by the CARES Act passed in March and less than the $2,000 sought by Congressional Democrats and later, President Trump. The bill also brings back weekly enhanced federal unemployment benefits for the more than 19 million Americans still on unemployment benefit rolls. These enhanced benefits will pay out $300 per week, on top of state benefits, for up to 11 weeks.
We know the aid is coming, but when? Here is Fortune‘s guide.
When to expect your $600 stimulus check
Americans started to receive their $1,200 stimulus checks two weeks after the signing of the CARES Act in March. But this go-around, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sped up the process and started to deposit $600 checks on Tuesday—just nine days after Trump signed the bill into law.
Taxpayers who have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS will receive their payments by direct deposit. The IRS started sending those direct deposits on Tuesday, and will continue to send those through next week.
The rest of eligible Americans and resident aliens will receive their checks by mail. Those checks started to mail out on Wednesday, but it’s unclear how long paper checks will take to arrive.
Who is eligible for the $600 checks?
The federal stimulus bill will send $600 checks to most adults, and $600 for each dependent child. However, the funds will phase out for people earning higher incomes. These stimulus checks will decrease for households with 2019 adjusted gross income—that is, federally taxable income—above $75,000 per individual or $150,000 per qualified couple. The checks completely phase out for individuals earning above $99,000, and joint filers with no children at $198,000.
You can find more details about your stimulus payment on this IRS portal.
When will $300 unemployment checks start going out?
The $300 enhanced unemployment checks will be issued for the week ended December 27 through the week ending March 13. But the timetable for when the $300 unemployment payments actually start to deposit will vary by state.
A few states, including New York and Minnesota, announced jobless residents on their unemployment rolls should start to get the $300 checks the week of Jan. 3, 2021. More states are expected to announce their timelines next week.
The good news? If states delay in sending out the $300 unemployment payments, the benefit will be back paid for the weeks ending between Dec. 27 and March 13. Americans who are eligible for the $300 enhanced unemployment benefits will eventually get it.
Who is eligible for the $300 checks?
The CARES Act, which was passed in March, expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits to include jobless part-timers, self-employed workers, freelancers, and independent contractors. These unemployed Americans covered through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, along with anyone on traditional state unemployment rolls, will automatically get the new $300 weekly federal benefit.
Those who qualify will get the additional $300 weekly, regardless of their previous wages. This is on top of their state unemployment insurance benefit. For example, a worker in New York who gets the maximum state benefit of $504 per week would receive a total of $804 per week.