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$1,400 stimulus checks are coming, but you need to enter a lottery to get one

pile of money

Enough people apparently want another round of stimulus checks, that they’re falling for a fake video of President Biden authorizing another wave of those payments that’s circulating on Facebook.

It’s not real, of course, partly because the political support for such stimulus payments collapsed in Congress over the past couple of months. We’ll also have to wait and see if Biden addresses his stalled effort to pursue more direct payments to Americans in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night. For now, though, localized efforts along these lines are continuing. One of which includes a lottery-based effort in an Iowa County that’ll send $1,400 stimulus checks to 2,500 randomly-chosen people.

Stimulus check update

Local leaders in Johnson County, Iowa, voted just a few days ago to create a lottery-style system whereby 2,500 people will get randomly chosen to receive $1,400 stimulus checks.

$3.5 million in funding from Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan will go towards setting up the program. And qualifications for potential recipients include being a low-to-moderate income resident of Johnson County. Or someone making under $45,370 for a family of one. Or someone who can prove the Covid-19 pandemic negatively impacted them. Such as by suffering unemployment or a reduction in the number of hours they work.

This page on the Johnson County government website explains where the effort stands right now. As of March 1, however, it’s not yet clear when the application process will open. “Applicants will apply online,” that page reads. “Due to an anticipated volume of applications that exceeds the amount of available funds, recipients will be chosen by random selection. Applying for the program does not guarantee that you will receive assistance.”

Child tax credit reminder

IRS 1040 tax form with pen
An IRS 1040 income tax form is shown with a blue pen. Image source: Kenishirotie/Adobe

We’ve said it more than once here, and we’ll offer this reminder again. New stimulus checks, for the time being, will depend on who you are and where you live.

Meanwhile, don’t forget: There’s a companion benefit to last year’s child tax credit stimulus checks that’s also still available.

If you got any of those monthly checks last year, and if you haven’t filed your income tax return yet, this update is for you. The expanded child tax credit, which produced those monthly checks last year? It also has a secondary component. One that comes in the form of a tax break, which you’ll claim on this year’s IRS tax return.

The basic idea is that however much your child tax credit checks added up to, all together, last year? That’s the same amount of money you’ll claim on this year’s tax return. It’s because recipients were approved for one single child tax credit amount. But Congress decided to cut it in half, and then give recipients that first half immediately last year, in the form of actual money.

In light of the “credit” part in the name of the child tax credit, the second half will come this year. As a garden-variety tax credit, that is, which you’ll claim on your tax return. More details about which are available here from the IRS.

Andy Meek profile photo

Andy Meek is a reporter 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.