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Everything we know so far about your next stimulus check – timing, amount and more

Updated Feb 11th, 2021 4:51PM EST
Stimulus check update
Image: Doug Mills - Pool via CNP/MEGA
  • Here’s the latest coronavirus stimulus check update we have, including everything you need to know about the size of your next stimulus check and when it might arrive, among other details.
  • The best estimate right now is that the first $1,400 stimulus checks will be sent out as part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan sometime in March.
  • Read on for more details about the specific stimulus check amounts, who’s eligible, and more.

Here’s one indication of the stakes involved when it comes to the passage (or not) of President Joe Biden’s signature $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan,” a legislative behemoth that represents the new administration’s first big attempted swing at the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Swift passage of the legislation, which includes funding for a third round of stimulus checks, could help the US return to full employment in 2022. That’s according to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who added that the flip side would entail a high jobless rate for a few more years. “The Congressional Budget Office issued an analysis recently, and it showed that if we don’t provide additional support, the unemployment rate is going to stay elevated for years to come,” Yellen told CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union. “It would take (until) 2025 in order to get the unemployment rate down to 4% again.” Which makes the latest stimulus check update we have to share with you, needless to say, exceedingly important.

Let’s start with what we know, like:

How big will the checks be? In terms of where things stand now, Democrats appear to have the votes to send everyone who got a $1,200 stimulus check and a $600 check last year another stimulus check, this time for generally $1,400. We say “generally,” because there will be exceptions — depending on, for example, your annual income. The full $1,400 stimulus check will go out to individuals with $75,000 or less in annual income, and joint-income households with $150,000 or less in annual income. The checks are phased out incrementally, above those income thresholds.

A couple of other quick points: That joint-income household we mentioned would actually get two $1,400 checks, one for each earner, totaling $2,800 for the household. Democrats also want to add a $3,000-per-child benefit to the Biden stimulus plan that would be a significant boon for families. This benefit would provide $3,000 for each child between the ages of 6 and 17, as a complement to the $1,400 stimulus checks. Moreover, parents would also get $3,600 for every child under the age of 6.

What will the impact of the stimulus checks be? Estimates are already mounting that many more people plan to save this round of stimulus money that they get, compared to the emergency funds issued last year by the Trump administration. That’s either a good or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. Yes, this kind of undercuts the whole point of the stimulus checks in the first place — just look at the first word in that two-word phrase. The checks are meant to “stimulate” the economy, and they don’t exactly do that when you just stick the check into a bank account. However, you could also argue they do so indirectly in that case. Putting aside more money into your savings, or using the influx to help pay bills, also frees you up to spend more money on the things you want. Voila! Economy stimulated … eventually.

When will they arrive? As we noted yesterday, sometime in March is the current estimate for when Congress would have Biden’s stimulus plan finally finished, voted on, and signed by the president. The first stimulus check disbursements could happen almost immediately after that.

“We’re looking at an early March timetable of getting something signed into law, if everything works correctly,” Ed Mills, Washington policy analyst at financial services company Raymond James, told CNBC. “It’s not yet a done deal. But certainly there is more unification among Democrats than I have really ever seen and a sense of urgency that usually doesn’t exist.”

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.