After months of negotiations, lawmakers have finally agreed on a deal to provide more coronavirus relief -- including a second stimulus check. The next payment will be smaller than the first one, though.
While the CARES Act authorized a payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 per eligible dependent, the next relief bill provides payments worth up to $600 per adult and child dependent.
The income limits will likely be the same as they were under the CARES Act, with eligibility beginning to phase out with an income above $75,000 for single filers or $150,000 for married filers, with those who earn over $99,000 or $198,000 receiving no payments.
If you're in line to get a check, the big question on your mind is probably when the money will hit your bank account. Here's what you need to know about the likely schedule.
When will you get your second coronavirus stimulus check?
Once the president's signature is on a bill authorizing the next COVID-19 payment, the IRS will again be tasked with distributing the money to millions of Americans.
When the CARES Act authorized the first stimulus payments, it took the agency approximately three weeks to begin depositing payments into people's bank accounts. While the law was signed by the president on March 27, payments began appearing in bank accounts on April 15 and most people received their money within two weeks of that date if the IRS had their bank information.
However, the IRS has already done much of the work necessary to be ready to send out the second payment. As a result, when lawmakers were discussing stimulus funds back in August, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin indicated the first batch of payments -- as many as 50 million of them -- could be sent out within a week of legislation authorizing them.
If the president signs a coronavirus stimulus bill the week of Dec. 21, the Christmas holiday will likely slow up the delivery of payments slightly. Still, the IRS is likely to begin processing them quickly.
If the IRS has your bank information on file either from your 2019 tax returns or because you provided it to receive the first check, chances are good you'll be among the first group to receive your money this time. With Mnuchin indicating millions of payments could be sent within a week, there's a very good chance your money will be in your account starting the week of Jan. 4.
Those likely to receive money in the first batch of payments include Social Security beneficiaries who gave their information to the IRS. This group of Americans got their checks in the first week last time, and would likely be on track to do so again.
If you'll be receiving a paper check, things will take longer. Last time, the IRS began sending paper checks a week after distributing payments via direct deposit. That means checks could start to come as early as the week of Jan. 11 if it follows the same schedule.
The agency can process around five million to seven million checks per week. However, the IRS prioritized payments to lower-income taxpayers when sending checks last time, and will likely do the same with this round. You'll likely get a payment via mail sometime in mid- to late January or early February if your income is higher.
Those who received payments via EIP debit cards will also get their money later. These debit cards were sent around a month after direct deposits began last time and they also went out at a rate of around five million to seven million per week. If you're going to receive your payment this way, you can expect it to come around the week of Feb. 8 or later.
There's a good chance this stimulus check will be the last one, as lawmakers may be unwilling to provide more coronavirus money once the vaccine becomes more widely available. You should use the funds as wisely as possible, which could include investing the money if you don't need it to cover immediate costs.
10 stocks we like better than Walmart
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have an investing tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*
David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Walmart wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.
Stock Advisor returns as of 2/1/20
The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.