Stimulus Check Update: $1,400 Checks Are on the Way -- Here's Who Will Get Paid First

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on March 11, 2021

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A photo of the economic stimulus check from the U.S. Treasury, with the word "STIMULUS" boldly stamped across it. The check is surrounded by $100 bills.

Image source: Getty Images

Make sure the IRS has your direct deposit information if you want to get your $1,400 stimulus payment ASAP.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the Senate's version of the American Rescue Plan. This is the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan President Joe Biden laid out before taking office. It authorizes $1,400 stimulus payments for eligible Americans, including most dependents.

Biden is expected to sign the legislation on Friday, and has also indicated the direct payments will go out during the month of March. As with the first two stimulus checks, the IRS will be distributing the funds. And certain Americans are expected to receive their payments more quickly than others.

Here's how the IRS will distribute the $1,400 stimulus check

The IRS has distributed two previous stimulus checks, including $1,200 payments authorized by the CARES Act as well as $600 payments authorized by a relief bill signed into law by President Donald Trump at the end of December. The agency already has systems and processes in place to quickly get money into Americans' bank accounts.

As with the first two checks, the IRS is expected to prioritize the delivery of payments to people who have provided their direct deposit information. In fact, an official from the Treasury Department confirmed to NBC that the first payments authorized by the American Rescue Plan would go out to those who provided bank information when filing 2019 or 2020 taxes.

Once the agency has distributed payments to individuals who gave the IRS their bank information, the next group of payments is slated for those who provided their bank details to other government agencies that share that data with the IRS. This includes many people who receive Social Security benefits or veteran's benefits.

If the Treasury cannot determine bank account information, paper checks or EIP cards will be distributed. However, these will take longer to process, leaving some Americans waiting for funds.

How to get your payment ASAP

If you're in a hurry to get your third stimulus check and the IRS does not currently have your bank information on file or if your bank details have changed since you filed your 2019 returns, your best course of action is to file a 2020 tax return as soon as possible.

The IRS is accepting 2020 returns already, and will use the information from them to determine eligibility for the payment as well as where to send the money -- if you've filed one

Not everyone is eligible -- even if you received the first two checks

It's important to note that the rules are a little different for this direct payment, so you can't assume you'll receive a payment even if you were eligible for the first two stimulus checks.

The income limits to be eligible for the full payment are the same as before. You'll get the full $1,400 if your income is $75,000 or under as a single filer or $150,000 as a married joint filer. However, if your income is above $80,000 as a single or $160,000 as a married joint filer, you will not receive any money.

This differs from the past relief bills. Under the CARES Act, for example, individuals could get partial payments with incomes up to $99,000 and married joint filers could receive them with earnings up to $198,000 -- or higher if they had eligible dependents.

If your income dropped in 2020, making you eligible for the payment when you wouldn't be based on 2019 data, this is also another reason to file your 2020 taxes ASAP.

For those who are eligible, though, you can start watching your bank account for the money in the coming weeks -- or the mail, if the IRS doesn't have your bank details.

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