What You Should Know About Timing, and Stimulus Check Eligibility

The newly approved stimulus payments for dependents will go out at the same time as those for individuals or joint filers, but dependents won’t actually receive a check.

The American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion relief package, expanded dependent eligibility for a $1,400 stimulus check. Unlike the first two rounds of direct payments, which limited dependents to only children under the age of 17, $1,400 payments will be allocated for all dependents, regardless of age.

However, payments for dependents will be sent to those who claimed them on their taxes, not the dependents themselves. So if a college student eligible for a payment is claimed on the parents’ tax return, the $1,400 will be sent to the parents.

If people are ineligible for a stimulus check because of the income threshold, they won’t receive any money for their dependents.

The first two rounds of payments completely cut off for individuals with incomes above $99,000 and joint filers with incomes above $198,000. As part of negotiations with RepublicansDemocrats agreed to phase out payments earlier this time around. Reduced payments will end for individuals earning more than $80,000 and joint filers with incomes above $160,000.

Those who received the full payment the first two times around, and have had no change to their income level since, will likely receive the third payment as well. The American Rescue Plan kept income thresholds for the full amount at the same level as last March’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, with full payments going to individuals with incomes up to $75,000 and joint filers with incomes up to $150,000.

Payments are expected to start hitting people’s bank accounts this weekend, according to the White House. This will be the first wave of payments to go out, and press secretary Jen Psaki said payments will continue to be issued over the next several weeks.

“The IRS and Bureau of the Fiscal Service are building on lessons learned from previous rounds to increase the number of households that will get electronic payments, which are substantially faster than checks,” Psaki said Tuesday.

The first people to receive their payments will be those who used direct deposit when they filed their taxes. Following those people, the Treasury Department will send payments to people whose bank account information they have on file for other programs. The last people to receive stimulus payments will be those who are being sent a physical check or debit card.

Democrats, including President Joe Biden, often cite polling to show support for the American Rescue Plan, but Senator Rand Paul questioned the validity of it because it’s difficult for people to say no to “free money.”

Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion relief package, on Thursday, and $1,400 stimulus checks could start being deposited in people’s bank accounts this weekend. It passed the house along party lines without any Republican support, but polls show a majority of Americans, including Republicans, support another round of stimulus checks and think $1,400 is the right amount.

Senator Rand Paul, who’s pushed back on additional relief, told WKRC on Friday it wasn’t surprising that people are supportive of a third round of direct payments.

“When you poll an audience or whole public and you say, ‘Would you like free money? Would you like us to send you a $1,400 check?’ It’s kind of hard to say no,” Paul said. “Members of my family got the check, my kids got the check. Are they going to send it back? No. Somebody sent them free money.”