Stimulus Check Update: $1,400 Checks Now on the Table

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on Jan. 15, 2021

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A hand holding a small American flag and a stimulus check from the U.S. Treasury.

Image source: Getty Images

Here's the latest on stimulus checks -- including a brand-new proposal unveiled by President-elect Joe Biden.

Key points

  • $1,400 checks would bring most Americans recent stimulus payouts to $2,000.
  • More people would be eligible for stimulus checks.
  • Nothing is certain as of yet. Legislation still needs to make its way to the Senate and the House, and then to the presidents desk.
  • People with direct deposit details on file with the IRS would receive payments faster.

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In late December, lawmakers passed a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill -- the first measure of its kind to follow the CARES Act, which was signed into law in late March of 2020. Though Americans were no doubt relieved to see that December's bill included a $600 stimulus check, many felt that that sum fell short -- especially in light of the millions of people who are still out of work and who don't have a savings account to tap during these difficult times.

President-elect Joe Biden made it clear from the start that he'd be looking to push through additional aid to help those impacted most financially during the pandemic. And on Jan. 14, he released the details of his new stimulus proposal.

$1,400 stimulus checks are now on the table

For weeks, lawmakers talked about giving the public $2,000 stimulus checks instead of $600 to make a more meaningful impact for those in need of money. But that didn't necessarily mean recipients were going to collect their initial $600 stimulus and then receive another $2,000 on top of that. Rather, lawmakers had said from the start that the $2,000 payments would be more of a bump-up so that those who got their $600 already would be in line for $1,400 more.

Biden's new proposal simplifies things a little by calling for $1,400 stimulus payments to go out. And to be clear, that's $1,400 eligible recipients would get in full, bringing their total amount of recent stimulus cash to $2,000 when we add in the $600 that just went out.

But here's one big benefit included in Biden's proposal -- more people could be eligible for stimulus cash. For the most recent round of payments, children under the age of 17 were eligible for $600 stimulus checks. Biden, however, is looking to have his $1,400 payments include all adult dependents.

Furthermore, Biden did not indicate that he'd be adjusting the income limits for stimulus eligibility for his latest round. But lawmakers have been calling for more targeted stimulus aid, so we'll need to wait and see if lower phase-outs are put into place to help ensure that that money goes to those who are truly struggling.

When will those $1,400 stimulus checks go out?

Let's not get ahead of ourselves -- right now, Biden's proposal is merely that. For those $1,400 payments to get the green light, lawmakers will have to approve Biden's bill. However, now that Democrats have a majority in the Senate, that's more likely to happen, and once it does, Americans could see their additional stimulus cash within weeks.

As was the case with the last round of $600 checks, those with direct deposit details on file with the IRS will get their money the soonest. Those who didn't register bank account details will have to wait for either a paper check or debit card to arrive in the mail with their stimulus funds.

Biden has made a point of stating that he wants to send out additional aid to the public within his first 100 days of office. As such, there's reason to believe he'll be pushing for an early vote on his proposal to get that stimulus round out as quickly as possible.

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