If a second stimulus check happens, when would it come? We've mapped out some dates

A second stimulus check might arrive far faster than last time — with talks now restarting

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How soon could your second stimulus check come? We lay out some possible dates, from when the bill is passed to when your money could actually arrive.


James Martin/CNET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have publicly signaled that they are now ready to resume negotiations on a new economic support bill.

“We’ve agreed to continue to have discussions about the CARES Act,” Mnuchin told a Senate committee on Thursday. For her part, Pelosi plans to roll out a new economic relief proposal with reinstated unemployment benefits, a second stimulus payment, assistance for small businesses and aid for the airline industry, according to The Washington Post. The news could mean another check could be on the way for those who are eligible.

As we await that new House proposal, we can predict who may see another round of stimulus checks first, and who may receive them last, all based on the schedule the IRS used for the first checks, and a comment Mnuchin made in August. More information is below.

CNET’s stimulus calculator can provide an estimate of how much you might get — and for more information, read about the most important stimulus payment topics. This story is frequently updated.


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How soon the IRS could send money once a bill is signed

When and if another stimulus check happens, Mnuchin has said it would take about a week to orchestrate the first payments. “I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people’s direct accounts,” he said.

We’ve speculated potential dates based on calendars from the House of Representatives and the Senate, and also based on Pelosi’s vow to keep her chamber in session until a deal is reached. The payments don’t go out to everyone at once, so read on for which groups of people could get their stimulus money first.

Possible dates a second stimulus check could go out

Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Scenario 4
House passes final bill Oct. 2 Oct. 9 Dec. 1 Dec. 7
Senate passes final bill Oct. 5 Oct. 13 Dec. 2 Dec. 8
President signs Oct. 6 Oct. 14 Dec. 3 Dec. 9
First direct deposit sent Week of Oct. 12 Week of Oct. 19 Week of Dec. 7 Week of Dec. 14
First paper checks sent Week of Oct. 19 Week of Oct. 26 Week of Dec. 14 Week of Dec. 21
First EIP cards sent Week of Nov. 9 Week of Nov. 16 Week of Jan. 11 Week of Jan. 18

What’s going on with payment groups?

We expect the IRS would keep roughly the same system for sending out the second stimulus check that it used the first time around, including sending payments in a de facto priority order that could lead some to receive their checks days or even weeks sooner than others. Several million people are still waiting for their first checks to arrive.

Direct deposit is fastest: People who already have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS or do so when and if registration opens again should be first in line to receive their stimulus check. An electronic transfer of funds is faster and more efficient, which is why this group largely got their first check faster.

Social Security beneficiaries: With the first stimulus payment, many Social Security beneficiaries who had direct deposit information on file with the federal government received their checks in the first week, though not always the first day.

Paper checks: The IRS began to mail these about a week later to people without direct deposit data on file. 

Economic Impact Payment debit cards: Prepaid Visa cards that were sent to around 4 million people starting in mid-May.

Last group: Anyone who received their checks after June, is still waiting to receive their stimulus payment or did not know they need to fill out an extra step. Direct payments will continue through the end of 2020 for some individuals who were not part of the previous groups. Here’s what could be holding up the stimulus check delivery for some and how to contact the IRS to report a missing, lost or stolen check.

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Another stimulus check for up to $1,200 could find its way into your bank account this year. 


Sarah Tew/CNET

What’s the longest I might have to wait for a second check?

While we expect the bulk of people to get their money sooner, if the first round is any indication, it could still take months for the IRS to send all the checks. Six months after the first stimulus payments went out, the federal agency is still trying to track down millions of people who may be owed money.

And even with the experience of processing roughly 160 million payments in the IRS’ back pocket, some would probably need to clear a few hurdles to receive their money. Here are common bumps that held up the first stimulus check for some.

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There’s hope that the IRS could speed up delivery of a second check, if it’s authorized.


Angela Lang/CNET

These things could delay your check from arriving sooner

We won’t know details unless, or until, a new bill passes and the IRS gears up to send another round of checks, but here are sticking points to watch for.

Changes to aid for dependents: If Congress expands or narrows the definition of a dependent in the next bill, it could require the IRS to adjust its accounting system. That may potentially slow processing your payment. Calculate how much you get if the rules change to include more people as eligible dependents.

Banking status: If your banking status changes, it could hold up receipt of your payment. Banking status disproportionately impacted Black Americans and other people of color, according to an analysis by the think tank Urban Institute. People who identify as white and whose incomes were above the poverty line were more likely to have received their first stimulus check by the end of May than people who identify as Black, Hispanic or below the poverty line, the analysis found.

Nonfilers need to take an extra step: People who earn below the threshold to be required to file federal income tax returns in 2018 or 2019 also would not get a stimulus check unless they completed an online form for the IRS. This group includes low-income families with children and a far greater number of Black people and people of color. Over 9 million people have until Oct. 15 to claim their checks.

A few more resources to help

If you’re still waiting on the first round of payments, you can track the status of your stimulus check, learn how to report your no-show check to the IRS and find possible reasons why your stimulus check still hasn’t arrived.

And here are resources about coronavirus hardship loans and unemployment insurance, what you can do if you’ve lost your job, what to know about evictions and late car payments, if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS and how to take control of your budget.

Source: Cnet News
Keyword: A second stimulus check might arrive far faster than last time — with talks now restarting

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