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There’s a $500 stimulus check you might qualify for, and you had no idea

Published Sep 20th, 2021 2:37PM EDT
stimulus check news
Image: WINDSONG/Adobe

The latest monthly stimulus check news has continued a trend that’s been evident for much of 2021. Just a few days ago, according to the IRS, the federal government transferred about $15 billion to some 35 million families. That transfer was a result of the latest child tax credit disbursement — the third of six.

Meanwhile, this is also not the only slice of stimulus money available to taxpayers at the moment. Families are also eligible for a one-time payment of $500 to cover an adult-age dependent up to 24 who’s attending college full-time. That’s separate, of course, from the headline benefit associated with the child tax credit, which we’ll take a closer look at below.

Stimulus check news — Child Tax Credit update

As noted above, the third child tax credit payment just went out. The six checks, the last of which comes in December, comprise an advance payment of half of the full child tax credit that a family is eligible for.

In the $1.9 trillion stimulus law Congress passed earlier this year, lawmakers expanded the normal $2,000 child tax credit to a maximum of $3,600. Here’s how it works:

For each child under the age of six, families will more than likely get that full $3,600 (assuming, for example, they don’t max out on the income threshold). That family would get half of the credit ($1,800) next year, in the form of a normal tax credit they claim on their federal return.

The family is getting the first half of that full tax credit now, as an advance payment. It’s $1,800, spread over six checks from July through December. So, for each child an eligible family has under age six, the monthly payment would be $300.

What’s next?

Families with children between ages six and 17, meanwhile, will get slightly less than that amount ($3,000 for the full credit, instead of $3,600). Their monthly checks total $250 for each of those children.

The next three payments are set to arrive as direct deposits on October 15, November 15, and December 15. Families who’ve opted to get the payment as a paper check will need to wait just a few days after those dates for it to arrive.

Meanwhile, families of college-age dependents aren’t completely left out of this picture. They’re reportedly eligible to claim a one-time $500 stimulus payment.

Note: If you have a 17-year-old who turns 18 before December 31, your household is not eligible for the monthly child tax credit. That’s because those monthly payments this year, remember, are simply an advance on the full credit. That rest of the credit comes next year, in 2022 — when your child is now 18. Congress’ thinking was that making people wait to get the full credit in 2022 would be onerous since the pandemic is still taking such a toll this year.

Read more about the $500 stimulus benefit here.

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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