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The second stimulus check is coming. We break down possible payment schedules.


James Martin/CNET

On Monday afternoon, Senate Republicans rolled out the much-anticipated HEALS Act, its proposal for the next economic rescue package that will include a second stimulus check for $1,200. That’s assuming it passes as is, without any amendments or negotiation.

Debate, however, is expected. The HEALS Act is far more narrow than the rescue package proposed by the House of Representatives’ Heroes Act (PDF) in May, which fizzled before the Senate, untouched. Only after negotiation that determines the particular, including the terms of qualifying for a new $1,200 payment can we even start to scope out when the IRS could send the next wave of checks.

While neither McConnell nor the other Republican Senators mentioned a payment schedule on Monday, the White House goal is for the checks to arrive beginning in August. “We’re prepared to move quickly,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday. 

To see when you could expect to receive the next direct payment, we’ve matched up the Senate calendar with the schedule for the first stimulus check payments as a guide. Just a heads up that the dates we present below are speculative only and many factors could speed up or slow down check delivery. This story updates often with new information.

When would the IRS send the new stimulus checks?

The Senate’s last day in session before its August recess is Aug. 7, which means Congress has to agree on a final stimulus bill before then if it keeps to its schedule. After that, senators return to their home states until the session picks up again Sept. 8.

We don’t know how long it’ll take from the time the bill is signed into law to the time the IRS sends checks, but we can sketch out possibilities based on the first CARES Act’s journey through the final approval process.

When could the second stimulus checks go out?

Date passed by Senate Date passed by House Date signed First checks sent
Original CARES Act March 25 March 26 March 27 April 15
Proposal date Negotiations begin Negotiation time before deadline Deadline to pass a bill
HEALS Act July 27 July 27 7 or 8 days Aug 7
If Senate passes If House passes If President signs First checks could be sent
Final negotiated bill Aug. 6 Aug. 7 Aug. 10 Week of Aug. 24
Sept. 8 Sept. 9 Sept. 10 or Sept. 11 Week of Sept. 28

How could the second stimulus check arrive sooner?

Here are some possibilities that could result in the IRS sending checks sooner rather than later, assuming the next stimulus bill passes Congress on Aug. 7.

On Monday, Senator Chuck Grassley said the HEALS Act will follow the stimulus check model of the CARES Act: “The Republican plan provides for another round of $1,200 of economic impact payments for most American adults,” Grassley said. “We are going to continue the economic impact payments that were made in April and May.” Here’s how that could get you a check sooner.

  • HEALS ACT guidelines are mostly the same as the original CARES Act, which allows the IRS to follow its previous model.
  • The IRS already built its Get My Payment tool for the dual purposes of tracking your stimulus check payment and signing up for direct deposit. Implementing this tool for the first checks took time that the IRS is unlikely to need to process a second check.
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Congress is working on a new coronavirus stimulus bill that may put another $1,200 in your wallet.


Angela Lang/CNET

What could slow down the IRS sending the second stimulus checks? 

If Congress and President Donald Trump can’t agree on the contents of the next stimulus bill and miss the Aug. 7 deadline, it will be another month before the next session and the Senate and the House can reconvene and propose, debate and pass the bill. Both chambers of Congress and the president appear motivated to pass the bill before Aug. 7.


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When’s the last date I could receive a second stimulus check?

Once again, the first stimulus checks can provide a potential blueprint, though there’s no official news until another rescue package is finalized.

The IRS will have sent about 200 million checks by the time it’s done distributing the first raft of payments. (The total US population is nearly 330 million people, according to the Census Bureau.) 

The majority of those were sent by the beginning of June, though the IRS said it will continue to disburse the final batches through the end of the year. If there are fewer people receiving a second stimulus check, it’s possible that it won’t take as long to send a second round of checks.

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US workers are experiencing a staggeringly high unemployment rate.


Angela Lang/CNET

Will this be the last stimulus check?

In May, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this next coronavirus relief bill will also be the last. The course of COVID-19 infections will certainly play a role in future debates over the best way to strengthen the economy. Coronavirus infections began surging in June, with record numbers of infections rising in July.

However, the White House might try to squeeze in one more stimulus check before November. “There is likely going to be another round of stimulus come the fall,” said Kevin Cirilli, Bloomberg News’ lead Washington correspondent. “The President sees this [current stimulus package] as not his last economic pitch ahead of the election.”

Need more help?

If you’re still waiting on the first round of coronavirus payments, you can track the status of your stimulus check, learn how to report your no-show check to the IRS and find possible reasons why your stimulus check still hasn’t arrived.

Here are even more resources about coronavirus hardship loans and unemployment insurance, what you can do if you’ve lost your job, what to know about evictions and late car payments and how to take control of your budget.

source: cnet.com

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