Am I Eligible for the Second Stimulus Check?
Just before 2020 ended and 2021 began, President Trump signed a second pandemic relief bill. This bill included a second round of stimulus checks, or Economic Impact Payments, that will be sent to Americans under certain income thresholds in the coming weeks. Some of these checks have already started filtering in via direct deposit. As people struggle to make ends meet, there are lots of questions surrounding who will receive the stimulus, how much they will receive, and when it will hit their bank accounts.
How Much Can I Receive from the Second Stimulus Payment?
Those who are eligible for this stimulus payment will receive $600 per individual. So, a married couple eligible for payments would receive $600 each or $1,200 total. Additionally, eligible families will receive an extra $600 per child age 16 and under.
Who is Eligible for the Second Stimulus Payment?
Eligibility to receive a second stimulus check will be based on your 2019 tax return. An individual who recorded an adjusted gross (AGI) income of $75,000 or less on their 2019 taxes will qualify for the full $600. If their AGI was greater than $75,000, the benefits they receive will start to be phased out at a rate of $5 for every $100 they earn above the threshold.
For those who file their taxes with Head of Household status, the AGI limit is $112,500. Anyone at or below this threshold should receive full benefits. Their benefits will be phased out above this threshold at a rate of $5 for every $100 they earn above it.
For a married couple, the AGI limit is twice that of an individual, or $150,000 or less. Anyone at or below this threshold will receive full benefits. For those with a higher AGI, benefits phase out at the same rate as individuals and those who file with Head of Household status.
If they meet the income requirements, mixed-status immigrant families will also be eligible for the second stimulus relief check. This is a change from the first stimulus relief check. This means that U.S. citizens and green card holders who meet the income threshold will be eligible for the $600 relief check and the $1,200 check from the first stimulus bill, even if they file a joint tax return with an undocumented spouse.
Who is Not Eligible for the Second Stimulus Payment?
It is important to note that child dependents who are 17 or older do not qualify. This is based on a family’s 2019 tax filing. So, if a child turned 17 in the second half of 2020, after taxes were filed, they could still qualify.
Adult dependents who are claimed on someone else’s tax return also will not qualify. This means college students who are claimed on their parent’s tax returns and older adults who are claimed on someone else’s taxes won’t get the payments.
When Will I Receive the Second Stimulus Payment?
The IRS is already delivering stimulus funds. Some individuals have already received theirs via direct deposit. And more funds go out each day. If you have direct deposit information on file with the IRS, they will deposit funds directly into that account. If you don’t have current direct deposit information on file with the IRS but who are eligible, a check or a debit card will be sent by mail. You can claim the Economic Impact Payments on your 2020 tax return in 2021 if you are eligible but don’t receive them.
Final Thoughts and Additional Resources
The second round of payments comes at a time when many are struggling and will hopefully provide some relief. It is important to be sure that you understand the eligibility requirements and the process so you can get benefits for which you are eligible.
If you are waiting on your payment, you may want to track it. To track your payment, use the IRS website’s Get My Payment tool. Track your payment using only the IRS website. Do not give out personal information to sources you don’t know and trust. For additional information regarding the second round of Economic Impact Payments, check out the IRS’s Frequently Asked Questions.
This situation is still evolving, so check with the IRS if you have additional questions or need more information.
Kimbree Redburn is an Accredited Financial Counselor® with a background in economic development. She works with her clients to help them understand their financial options and make money decisions with confidence. She believes that financial education gives people a chance to build a better life.