The second stimulus check could be coming soon. We break down possible payment schedules.

James Martin/CNET

After three days of negotiations on the contents of the next stimulus package, Congress and the White House appear no closer to a resolution. “I’m not very optimistic that we will have any kind of an agreement on a comprehensive bill in the near future,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Thursday. That’s not encouraging news for people anxiously awaiting a second stimulus check for $1,200.

But with new jobless claims topping 1 million for the 19th straight week, that is not good news for Americans looking to Washington for help as they struggle through a recession that shows few signs of turning around. For many a new, $1,200 stimulus check — and who can get one — is the critical piece of the next economic stimulus package. But how soon you get the stimulus payment depends entirely on how long it takes for the White House and Congressional negotiators to craft the final bill.

The two sides have just over a week to reach an agreement on the deal before an Aug. 7 deadline set by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, when the current session ends. To buy more time, McConnell could push back start of the August recess, as he did most recently in 2018.

Using the Senate’s deadline, we can work out a possible schedule for when the IRS could send the first checks in the mail or to your bank account. The dates below are speculative only and many factors — including how quickly the two sides agree on the next proposal — could speed up or slow down check delivery. This story updates frequently with new information.

When the IRS stimulus checks could go out

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 planned schedule (which could change). 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 glean hints 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 to 9 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 new stimulus check arrive quicker than last time?

On Monday, Sen. 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,” he 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 those of 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 — and working out glitches — for the first round of checks took time that the IRS is unlikely to need to process a second check.

Congress is working on a new coronavirus stimulus bill that may put another $1,200 in your wallet.

Angela Lang/CNET

What could delay the IRS sending the next stimulus payments? 

If Congress and President Donald Trump can’t agree on the provisions in the new stimulus bill and miss the Aug. 7 deadline, it would be another month before the next session and the Senate and the House can reconvene and propose, debate and pass the bill, unless the House and Senate delay the start of their August recess. 

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 get the new stimulus check?

Once again, the schedule for the first stimulus checks can provide a potential roadmap, 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 payments.


US workers are experiencing a staggeringly high unemployment rate.

Angela Lang/CNET

Would this be the final stimulus check?

In May, McConnell said that 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, on Monday. “The president sees this [current HEALS Act stimulus package] as not his last economic pitch ahead of the election.”

Do you 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, if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS and how to take control of your budget.



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