Time is running out for lawmakers to come to an agreement on aby the end of 2020. Congress is on recess until after Thanksgiving, with only a handful of scheduled days in Washington in December. It’s projected that after Nov. 30, leaving a slim margin of time to approve a and send the first batch between now and New Years. We’ve mapped out some dates in the chart below.
There are two pieces of good news, though. Support for a second stimulus check is strong among top lawmakers and leaders, includingcould see more momentum following . And on Tuesday, 127 economists signed an open letter (PDF) advocating Congress pass more stimulus aid, including .
Whether a check comes in 2020 or 2021 — if approved — the IRS is also poised to send payments faster toin a second round than in the first. (Here’s .) If you had to wait for your first check, you if you take care of certain tasks now.
Below, we’ve drawn some possible timelines for a potential second stimulus check. And CNET’scan help estimate your overall payment. This story updates often with new information.
When the next stimulus check could realistically go out
These speculative dates show you when you might see a check — if a bill becomes law before or after Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, and bearing in mind Dec. 11, the deadline for Congress to pass the next federal budget.
One important note about the speed at which the first checks might arrive. In August, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said it would take about a week to process the first payments. “I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people’s direct accounts,” he said. If a check doesn’t arrive until 2021, there will be a new Treasury Secretary — Biden is expected to select Janet Yellen, the previous chair of the US Federal Reserve.
Even if the checks were to go out faster the second time by using the existing IRS protocol from the first check to deliver a second payment, that doesn’t necessarily mean your stimulus money would arrive a week after a bill went live.
Possible dates a second stimulus check could go out
|Scenario 1||Scenario 2||Scenario 3||Scenario 4|
|House passes final bill||Dec. 11||Feb. 1||Mar. 1||Apr. 5|
|Senate passes final bill||Dec. 12||Feb. 2||Mar. 2||Apr. 6|
|President signs||Dec. 13||Feb. 3||Mar. 3||Apr. 7|
|First direct deposits issued||Week of Dec. 28||Week of Feb. 8||Week of Mar. 8||Week of Apr. 12|
|First paper checks sent||Week of Jan. 11||Week of Feb. 16 (Feb. 15 is President’s Day)||Week of Mar. 15||Week of Apr. 19|
|First EIP cards sent||Week of Feb. 8||Week of Mar. 15||Week of Apr. 12||Week of May 10|
Why can’t the IRS send every stimulus payment at once?
By summer, the IRS had sent money to at least 160 million people in three ways, starting with people the federal government has direct deposit information for. Some people with more complicated personal situations areor even for . This creates a de facto priority order that could result in some Americans receiving their checks days or even weeks before others.
The IRS has said it can deliver 5 million to 7 million paper stimulus checks a week, starting withis less than $20,000, and then moving to people whose AGIs are progressively larger, according to the Government Accountability Office.
We expect the IRS will adopt roughly the same system for sending out a second stimulus check in 2020 or 2021 as it did with the first stimulus check, which was approved in March as part of the CARES Act.
Direct deposit recipients: People who already have theiron file with the IRS or who provide that info when and if registration opens again should be first in line to receive a stimulus check. An electronic transfer of funds is faster and more efficient, which is why this group largely got their first payment faster.
Social Security beneficiaries: With the first stimulus payment, many Social Security beneficiaries who had direct deposit information on file with the federal government received checks in the first week, though not always the first day.
People who get paper checks: The IRS began to mail checks about a week later to those without direct deposit data on file.
EIP card recipients:are prepaid Visa cards the IRS sent to about 4 million people starting in mid-May. If the IRS follows the same payment priority order, this group could begin to see their payment weeks after the first direct deposit transfers take place.
People with more complex situations: This category includes people who received a check after June, are still waiting to receive their stimulus payment or who. Direct payments will continue through the end of 2020 for some individuals who weren’t part of the previous groups. Here’s what could be for some people and to report a missing, lost or stolen check.
The IRS will continue to send first payments in December
While the majority of people in line to receive a stimulus check got theirs by the end of July, up until late November, there were still millions of people who were eligible for stimulus money that hadn’t received it. That includes, some who and (including and people who ).
If you’re aand didn’t receive a check as expected, you may also need to investigate. And a new court ruling has made it possible for millions of to get a check, even after the IRS changed its rules to exclude this group.
The Nov. 21 deadline to claim the payment in 2020 has passed, but you’ll be able toduring tax season 2021.
If you’re still waiting on the first round of payments, you can, learn and find possible . The IRS has said it will continue to send payments through Dec. 10, according to the Government Accountability Office.