Congress Approves Bill With $600 Stimulus Checks

Congressional leaders finally reached a consensus over the next COVID-19 stimulus package on Sunday. The $900 billion deal includes several key measures to support the struggling US economy and millions of Americans, including highly-anticipated direct payments. However, at only $600 for individuals and $600 for minor dependents, the second round of stimulus checks is considerably smaller.

The news comes eight months after Congress approved the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which earmarked $270 billion to give $1,200 checks for individuals and $500 for dependents. 

Following a busy week of meetings, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and House Minority Leader Keven McCarthy (R-CA) managed to find a middle ground and settle on a compromise just days before the holidays.

Now that more direct payments are on their way, here’s what to expect, according to Yahoo Money.

Who Qualifies For A Stimulus Checks?

Whether or not you receive a check depends on your 2019 tax return and your adjusted gross income. 

Recipients of Social Security, Disability Insurance, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement Board, and Veterans Administration will still qualify even if they didn’t file in 2019. Qualifying taxpayers who used the IRS Non-Filer portal last spring will also be eligible for assistance.

Single filers earning $75,000 or less and single parents filing as head of household making less than $112,5000 will receive the full $600. Joint filers earning no more than $150,000 will receive $1,200. Those who are eligible for a stimulus check with dependents younger than 17 will receive $600 for each minor.

For every $100 earned over the income threshold, the IRS will deduct $5. Single adults and married couples who have no dependents and make $75,0001 to $87,000 and $150,001 to $174,000, respectively, will receive smaller checks. Amounts will taper based on the number of dependents: for example, a four-person household earning $198,000 or more will not qualify for relief. 

Stimulus checks may also be sent to deceased individuals. The IRS will distribute checks to qualifying taxpayers living as of January 1, 2020.

Who Is Ineligible?

Nonresident aliens and individuals without a Social Security number will not receive a stimulus check. In the case of married couples who file jointly where one partner has a Social Security number, but the other doesn’t will receive one check, plus an extra $600 for every dependent with a Social Security number. Adult children who are claimed as dependent will not qualify for a payment.

When Will You Get Your Check?

During a Monday interview with CNBC, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that direct payments could go out as soon as next week. “People are going to see this money at the beginning of next week. It’s very fast. This is a very, very fast way of getting money into the economy.”

President Trump signed the CARES Act on March 27. By mid-April, most Americans had received a check. Since the framework is already in place, there is a chance that the IRS could send payments much faster.

The House and Senate will most likely pass the stimulus package on Monday, but it’s too early to rule out potential roadblocks. Before the bill can become law, the president must sign it, which may take several days after Congress approves it.

The IRS will issue a direct deposit to recipients whose bank information is on file. Otherwise, it will mail physical checks or debit cards, which could mean a longer wait for some. According to the bill, the IRS will issue an estimated 10 million payments each week from now until January 15.

How Will You Receive Your Check?

If you entered your bank account information when you filed your 2019 tax return, you would receive a direct deposit. You might be able to use the Non-Filers portal to submit your information if it isn’t on file. However, the IRS has not indicated if it will be possible for the second round.

The Non-Filer’s tool was for qualifying citizens or permanent residents who earned less than $12,200 ($24,400 for joint filers) in 2019 and didn’t have to file taxes in 2019. 

If you closed your bank account or never submitted your bank information, the IRS will send you a check. If you believe you qualify but never received a payment, or you were given an incorrect amount, you can claim it on your 2020 taxes.


  • Tsekova, Denitsa. “Stimulus Check Update: When Will You Get Your Second Payment?” Yahoo!, Yahoo!, 21 Dec. 2020,
Ian Schindler