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If a second stimulus check happens, when would it come? We’ve mapped out some dates – CNET

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How soon could your second stimulus check come? We lay out some possible dates, from when the bill is passed to when your money could actually arrive.

James Martin/CNET

Pressure is mounting for negotiators to at long last make a deal on another rescue package that would include a second stimulus check. Some details may shift from the first check to the second, including at least one qualification that could actually net you a larger payment overall. These nuances matter, especially if you’re not sure if you count as an adult or a dependent, and if you have questions about your status as a person who doesn’t file taxes (if that’s you, you may still be eligible for the first check). But the one question you all have in common is this: when?

That depends… on a lot. But we’ll walk you through what you need to know about how quickly a new stimulus payment could come once it’s approved, and if you’d likely be one of the first to receive it — or one of the last. 

Meanwhile, CNET’s stimulus check calculator can estimate how much you might receive. And here are the top six things to know about stimulus checks. This story updates often.

A possible stimulus check schedule

When and if another stimulus check gets the green light, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said it would take about a week to mobilize the first payments. We’ve speculated potential dates based on calendars from the House of Representatives and the Senate, and also based on a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who vowed to keep her chamber in session until a deal is reached.

For reference, we include the timeline for the now-expired CARES Act. The payments don’t go out to everyone at once, so read on for which groups of people could get their payment first.

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
If Senate passes If House passes If president signs First checks could be sent
Final negotiated bill Sept. 30 Oct. 1 Oct. 2 Week of Oct. 12
Oct. 9 Oct. 13 Oct. 14 Week of Oct. 19
Dec. 1 Dec. 2 Dec. 3 Week of Dec. 7
If order signed Direct deposit could start First paper checks could start First EIP cards could start
Presidential order Sept. 13 Week of Sept. 19 Week of Oct 26 Week of Nov. 16

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Who would receive a stimulus check first? The possible order

It’s likely the IRS would keep roughly the same system for sending out the second stimulus check that it used the first time, including the IRS Get My Payment tool for tracking your stimulus check and registering for direct deposit

That means the agency might also follow the same order for distributing payments, which led some to receive their checks days or even weeks sooner than others. Some are still waiting for their first checks. Here’s how it went for the checks that were sent starting April 15:

Direct deposit: Roughly 80 million people who filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns and had already provided the IRS with their direct deposit information (according to the House Committee on Ways and Means). May 13 was the cutoff to register for direct deposit.

Social Security beneficiaries: People who had direct deposit information on file with federal agencies; many still received their checks in the first week, though perhaps not the first day.

Paper checks: The IRS began to mail these about a week later to people without direct deposit data on file. 

Economic Impact Payment debit cards: Prepaid Visa cards that were sent to around 4 million people starting in mid-May.

Last group: Anyone who received their checks after June or is still waiting to receive their stimulus payment. Direct payments will continue through the end of 2020 for some individuals who were not part of the previous groups. Here’s what could be holding up the stimulus check delivery for some and how to contact the IRS to report a missing, lost or stolen check.

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Another stimulus check for up to $1,200 could find its way into your bank account this year. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Things that could delay your stimulus check

We won’t know for sure until a new bill is passed and the IRS forms a plan to send out checks, but here are points to consider.

Changes to aid for dependents: If a change is made to the definition of a dependent, it could require the IRS to adjust its accounting system. That may potentially slow things down for you. Calculate how much you get with if the rules change to include more people as eligible dependents.

Banking status: If your banking status changes, it could potentially hold up receipt of your payment. Banking status disproportionately impacted Black Americans and other people of color, according to an analysis by the think tank Urban Institute. People who are white and whose incomes were above the poverty line were more likely to have received their first stimulus check by the end of May than people who are Black, Hispanic or below the poverty line, the analysis found.

Nonfilers need to take an extra step: People who didn’t make enough money to be required to file federal income tax returns in 2018 or 2019 also would not get a stimulus check unless they submitted a form to the IRS. This group includes low-income families with children and a far greater number of Black people and people of color. Over 9 million people have until Oct. 15 to claim their checks.

How long could you wait for a new stimulus check?

The IRS will have been sending the first stimulus payments from April 15 to approximately Dec. 31, 2020, a period of 260 days. If we follow the timeline, a second stimulus check that’s authorized before the end of 2020 could still be paying out funds to qualified recipients through the first half of 2021.

It’s likely that the IRS has streamlined its system enough to send checks to more people faster, but if the first round is any indication, there could be complications that could delay a second payment for many. Here are common hurdles that held up the first stimulus check for some.

Once again, the schedule for the first stimulus checks may indicate the timeline, but there’s no official news until a law or executive action lays out the details.

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There’s hope that the IRS could speed up delivery of a second check, if it’s authorized.

Angela Lang/CNET

If you’re seeking more resources

If you’re still waiting on the first round of 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.

And here are 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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