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$1,400 stimulus checks are available before Christmas – how to get yours

Published Dec 9th, 2021 1:27PM EST
close-up view of a stimulus check
Image: WINDSONG/Adobe

One final stimulus check is scheduled to go out next week to some 36 million US households, as the last in a six-check series of payments that began in July.

“Scheduled” is the operative word here, however. Because while that’s the last payment recipients can count on with a single, specific date? Some people actually have a chance to get at least one more. It depends on their personal situation, such as where they live. And if their annual income saw a bigger-than-expected swing, either for the worse or better, last year.

We’ll take a look at all these payments, and who’s getting them, below.

More “plus-up” payments coming

pile of cash stimulus check update
Money is available to Americans during the pandemic via several programs and stimulus checks. Image source: SkyLine/Adobe

Let’s start with the latter first. What’s still going out through the end of this month are known as “plus-up” payments.

According to the IRS, these are “ongoing supplemental payments for people who earlier in March received payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns.” The plus-up payments could include a situation where a person’s income slipped in 2020 compared to 2019, or a person had a new child or dependent listed on their 2020 tax return, among other situations.

As with almost all of the federal government’s stimulus efforts, eligible recipients of these stimulus checks don’t need to take any action to get them. Well, other than filing a 2020 federal tax return, which we all needed to do anyway. The IRS automatically evaluates everyones’ eligibility for one of these payments after processing those returns.

The IRS also has more questions and answers about plus-up payments available for your reference here.

Stimulus checks based on location, and more

The other thing we noted above is that payments are imminent based on where you live.

For more than a year now, most of the anticipation around stimulus checks and when we might get more of them has been directed at the federal government. This ignores the fact, though, that individual states can do their own thing, too.

States like California, which this week mailed out a new wave of some 800,000 payments. Those were part of the Golden State Stimulus II, the state’s initiative that’s sending billions in COVID-19 relief to California households.

According to the state, an estimated $563 million in relief checks are going out by the end of next week. Those checks will total between $600 and $1,100. And it doesn’t stop there.

Other states and cities are either investigating or moving forward with checks for their own residents. And, as noted above, one more child tax credit payment is coming in less than a week. On December 15, to be more specific. That’s the sixth check in the series, and will once again provide millions of families with a few hundred dollars per eligible child.

More stimulus check news

Meanwhile, to keep up with this important issue, here’s where you can check out some of our other recent coverage.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.

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