New stimulus check: Status update, biggest unknowns, what could cause a delay

Many of the third stimulus check details that are up in the air could become clearer on Friday. That’s when the House of Representatives intends to sign off on all the specifics for the next payment, including how much money you’d receive and which of your dependents will qualify. The House vote would mark a significant step on the path to approval of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package, which would include $1,400 payments.

After the House vote, the rescue package will move to the Senate and finally on to President Joe Biden to sign by the middle of March, if Congressional Democrats can keep to their schedule. But a lot can happen between Friday’s vote and when Biden finally signs the bill approving the next round of checks that could delay when you’d receive your payment and potentially change whether you qualify for a payment.

We will tell you where the third stimulus check stands, ahead of the House vote, including possible roadblocks, what new income limits could be and how a change to the stimulus check formula could affect your dollar amount. For more on stimulus checks, here’s how to claim any money and if you need to file for an IRS payment trace. Here’s how the three checks are different and how the next bill could mean more than just another $1,400 check for your family. This story was recently updated. How soon will the new stimulus check be approved?

Congressional Democrats are rushing to pass the sweeping COVID-19 relief package on or before March 14, when current federal unemployment benefits expire. The new bill would renew the unemployment payments, sending $400 weekly federal checks to unemployed Americans through August.

After the House vote on Friday, the bill will move to the Senate for approval before finally going to Biden to sign by that mid-March deadline, if everything goes to plan.

What could delay your third check?

In just over two weeks, Congress will need to tie up all the loose ends on the bill — including whether you and your dependents will be eligible for a new payment and where to set income limits to target the payment — if Democratic leaders want to hit their mid-March deadline.

Lots could happen between now and the middle of March that could delay the bill’s passage — and your getting your check. The Senate could decide, for example, to change a piece of the legislation and send the bill back to the House for another vote, adding time to the schedule. Or the Senate could spend days debating whether to raise the national minimum wage hourly rate, which could require another vote in the House.

Outside of Congress, the IRS has a full plate, now that it is in the middle of tax season. Already stretched thin because of the ongoing pandemic, the IRS will need to process 2020 tax forms and send out payments in the same time period, which could cause a delay in making payments. See below for more on the IRS and your payments.

Where does the third stimulus check stand now?

With the current bill in the House, the third stimulus check comes with a $1,400-per-person maximum. To “target” or restrict the third check to lower- and middle-income households, the legislation will include eligibility rules that exclude individuals and families at the highest income levels. An individual with an AGI (adjusted gross income) of at least $100,000 a year would hit the payment cutoff, as would a head of household earning $150,000 and a couple filing jointly with an AGI of $200,000.

However, any dependent a taxpayer claims could qualify for a $1,400 payment, but unlike with the first two payments, people above the hard upper limit wouldn’t be able to get a partial check by having dependents. Here’s how the stimulus check formula worked. If you want to see for yourself, try our stimulus calculator for the third check to see how it could affect your situation…Read more>>