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What are the basic requirements to obtain a third stimulus check?

What are the basic requirements to obtain a third stimulus check

Biden’s stimulus bill could pass the House of Representatives this week, however, there are still questions about eligibility for the third stimulus check.

President Joe Biden has promised a third $1,400 stimulus check that could be approved as early as this week by the House of Representatives. Nancy Pelosi confirmed on Feb. 18 that the House will vote on Biden’s $1.9 billion stimulus bill by the end of February and then send the package to the Senate and finally to the president for his signature.

The third round of stimulus checks is not the only urgency. Federal unemployment benefits expire on March 14 and Democrats have expressed that the bill must be signed before the benefits expire.

Democrats are using a legislative tool called budget reconciliation that would remove barriers Republicans could use to delay the vote. With Congress fast-tracking the new law, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could begin sending out third stimulus check payments as soon as the second or third week of March, however, the date could still be in jeopardy.

In the meantime, millions of Americans continue to wait for their first and second stimulus check payments that were approved in 2020. Tax season is in full swing and in case you never received your check you will be able to claim that missing money as a tax credit when you file your 2020 return.

This year the IRS will be even busier than usual as Congress is requiring it to work on refund claims on this year’s tax forms for missing stimulus check payments, along with processing regular federal tax returns.

Also, if Congress passes Biden’s bill, it will be up to the IRS to send out the third round of checks so it could affect the arrival date of your new check.

Basic requirements for the third stimulus check

Congress is moving forward with Biden’s plan to send a $1,400 check with some changes to the income limits. What has been the subject of debate, however, is who would be eligible to receive the third stimulus payment.

In January, a group of moderate Senate Republicans, lobbied Biden to reduce the amount of the check and significantly lower the income limit required to qualify for a payment. While Biden rejected the proposal, saying that “Congress must respond with courage and urgency,” the Republican approach kicked off a debate over “targeting” the next round of payments to exclude people with higher incomes from receiving the money.

After discussion about the desirability of lowering income limits to target payments, House Democrats settled on a plan that would follow the income requirement schemes used for the first two checks, but said they would set a maximum cap to cut off payments to the highest earners.

Under the Democrats’ current plan (PDF), people with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $100,000 a year would be excluded from receiving a payment. Those who are heads of households earning $150,000 a year and couples earning $200,000 would also be above the upper limit in order to receive any money.

Stimulus check exceptions

In the case of the third stimulus check, there are still questions about eligibility and how much money you could receive:

  • Seniors and retirees may be eligible for a stimulus check, but there could be exceptions.
  • Households with dependent children received $500 per head in the first check and $600 in the second.
  • Individuals receiving SSI and SSDI generally qualify for stimulus money.
  • People who do not receive stimulus money must take an extra step to claim it.
  • The IRS sends stimulus money through direct deposit, physical checks, and EIP cards at different times.
  • If you owe child support the IRS may garnish the first stimulus check you are missing but not the second.
  • If you share custody of a dependent child you may receive more stimulus money.
  • You do not have to be a U.S. citizen and living in the country to receive a check. The new rules make it easier for “mixed status” families to receive a check.
  • People who are incarcerated may be eligible for a first and second stimulus payment.
  • Some reasons may delay your check, such as if you have recently moved.

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