Stimulus Check Update: You Could Get a 'Plus-Up' Payment if One of These 3 Things Is True

by Christy Bieber | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on April 6, 2021

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A stimulus check from the U.S. Treasury on a computer keyboard.

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Are you entitled to extra stimulus money? You may be if any of these three things apply to you.

On April 1, the IRS announced that it would be sending "plus-up" payments. These are supplemental payments of more coronavirus relief funds.

The plus-up payments will be distributed by the IRS as part of the agency's effort to send out the third batch of stimulus checks. This batch includes payments valued at more than $10 billion sent to more than 4 million Americans. The money could be sent via paper checks or direct deposits, and will be distributed on a weekly basis.

These payments aren't going to everyone, though. Only certain individuals are entitled to receive the extra stimulus funds. If one of these three things applies to you, you may be one of those people who is on track for additional money.

1. Your income dropped in 2020

If the IRS hadn't processed your 2020 tax return before sending your stimulus check, then the agency likely based your payment on 2019 returns. If your income was higher in 2019 than it was in 2020, it's possible your payment was lower than it should have been.

This could be the case if your 2019 income put you above the income threshold where the amount of your COVID-19 direct payment began to phase out -- but your 2020 tax return didn't. That phase-out threshold where payments begin to decline is $75,000 for single tax filers and $150,000 for married joint filers.

If your income was above this limit in 2019 but below it in 2020 and the IRS sent too little money based on data from old returns, you may be getting an extra payment if your 2020 return has now been processed.

2. You had a new baby in 2020

Your income isn't the only factor that could change your payment amount. Stimulus checks are available for individual taxpayers as well as for dependents they claim.

If the IRS looked at your 2019 returns to send your check but you had a baby in 2020, the agency wouldn't have known about your new family member. As a result, if your 2020 return has now been processed and the IRS has discovered your new child, you should receive a plus-up payment.

3. You otherwise added a new dependent in 2020

All dependents were eligible for the third stimulus check, not just young children. That means if you added any type of dependent in 2020 -- including elderly relatives -- you would be entitled to a plus up once the IRS discovered this by processing your 2020 return.

Will you be getting an extra payment?

These are three of the most common reasons why the IRS would send you additional stimulus funds. But they may not be the only ones. In fact, in its statement announcing the plus-up payments, the agency said there could be "other situations" in which taxpayers would receive more stimulus money.

Ultimately, the key question is whether something about your eligibility changed. If it did, then you should watch your bank account carefully in the coming days to see if your plus-up extra payment is distributed as part of the IRS efforts to send out all of the money authorized by coronavirus relief bills.

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