Here’s the good news about the question of whether or not a new stimulus check is coming anytime soon: It may not be the so-called “fourth” stimulus check we’ve been hearing so much about, but millions of American families are, indeed, getting a new stimulus check. Very soon, as in less than a month from now.
It’s not the fourth stimulus check, because this new payment has a very specific purpose and identity — but let’s set aside the semantics for now, and talk first about the good stuff. How much you’re getting, and when.
First, and most important, circle July 15 on your calendar if you don’t have that date labeled yet already. That’s the all-important date when, not only will this new payment arrive, but it also kicks off the new monthly series of paychecks, six in all, that families will receive between July and the end of this year.
The checks stem from essentially one payment (an expanded federal child tax credit) that eligible families will receive, which will be chopped up into the six checks. And, even then, those six checks won’t combine to equal the entirety of the payment that families get — the balance will come next year in the form of a tax credit. The first chunk of that child tax credit, though, at least comes in the form of six checks that put money in your pocket immediately.
The IRS has begun sending out letters to the more than 36 million families who may qualify for these payments. If that includes you, expect two letters, actually, from the tax agency — the first simply noting the eligibility, while the second is personalized to your situation and lets you know how much money you should expect to receive.
Requirements: Among the important things to know here, in order to receive these new checks, married couples can earn $150,000 in total or less, while individuals are allowed to make up to $75,000 a year. They’ll get $250 for each child between the ages of 6 and 17 from July through December, for a total of $1,500 (6 months x $250). For each child under the age of 6, they’ll get $300 (or, $1,800 in total). As far as the remainder of the child tax credit that they’re entitled to, that will come next year as a credit when the family’s taxes are filed.
Timeline: As we noted above, the six checks will start hitting mailboxes and arriving in bank accounts as electronic deposits on the 15th of each month, starting in July and running through December — with one exception. In August, the 15th falls on a Sunday, so this check will be distributed that month on Friday the 13th, instead.
This expanded federal child tax credit was approved as part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus legislation that President Biden signed back in March. No word yet, however, on whether he or Congress will get behind a fourth stimulus check — a one-time payment that follows the three previous one-time stimulus payments that have been sent out thus far. While these new checks that will start arriving next month sequentially could be counted as a fourth payment, the fact that they’ll be broken up into a string of six stimulus checks makes them a little different from what people will get when and if an actual fourth stimulus payment is approved.