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A new $1,400 stimulus check will be sent to millions of Americans, but there’s a big catch

Published Aug 27th, 2021 2:22PM EDT
fourth stimulus check update
Image: pixelrobot/Adobe

The stimulus question that so many people have been asking — is a fourth stimulus check in the cards? — is finally starting to be answered. For some of you, at least. This is not to say that the federal government is necessarily pressing forward with an all-new round of payments, either. It’s wildly optimistic to suggest that will happen anytime soon, given the rock-solid wall of opposition that would meet any effort by the Biden administration to crank up the stimulus machine again this year. Rather, the fourth stimulus check update that we’ll share with you below reflects two things. One, existing money has been appropriated for this. And there’s also a related initiative happening at the state level (in one state, that is).

Fourth stimulus check update

Here’s what’s going on. Remember the $1.9 trillion stimulus law from March, which kick-started a third wave of stimulus checks for $1,400? It actually also primped the pump for some people to get a fourth payment. But only if a very specific condition is met.

That condition is this: Parents who give birth to a new child at any point in 2021 can also get another $1,400 as a result.

Here are some other important details to know about this payment. It should come as no surprise that there’s an income threshold. Single filers can’t make more than $75,000 a year in adjusted gross income. For couples, their income has to be less than $150,000 to get the full payment. The $1,400 will be reduced for incomes above those levels. And it phases out completely for single filers who make more than $80,000, as well as couples who make more than $160,000.

Also, keep in mind, the $1,400 isn’t the only money these new parents will get, either. Don’t forget about the ongoing child tax credit payments.

Additional details to know

Meanwhile, there’s another group of people in line for what will be a fourth stimulus check.

California residents also are getting what amounts to a fourth payment, funded by money from the state’s coffers. Here’s what to know about those checks, which are going out before the end of this month:

Generally, Californians will qualify if they made less than $75,000 last year. And if they’ve lived in California for most of the year. Also, no one should be able to claim them as dependents, and they must have filed their 2020 taxes before October 15 of this year.

If you qualify, you’ll receive $600. You can get an extra $500 to cover dependents that you might have. If you got money during the first round of California’s so-called Golden State Stimulus, though, you won’t receive a new check here. Also, the number of dependents you have doesn’t affect your check. The extra money comes only if you have any dependents at all.

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.