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Second stimulus check: Will I qualify?

Individuals could receive $600 each if the new coronavirus relief package is approved.

Congress has agreed to an economic relief package that includes a second stimulus check for millions of Americans. Here’s how much you can expect to get, as well as your options for receiving your money.

Is there a second stimulus check?

Yes, there is a second stimulus check included in the $900 billion relief bill. If you qualify, you could see a check of $600 — or up $2,400 depending on the size of your family. If you live in Colorado, you may also receive a separate stimulus check worth up to $375.

Watch for 4 tips to get your second stimulus check faster

How much will I get?

Most individuals and dependents would receive $600 stimulus checks under the second coronavirus relief package. This means a family of four could receive $2,400 compared to $3,400 under the original CARES Act.

You should receive the full $600 if your adjusted gross income is up to:

  • $75,000 for single or married, filing separately
  • $150,000 for married, filing jointly
  • $112,500 for heads of household

Additional unemployment aid

On top of the $600 stimulus checks, the bill also includes an additional $300 a week in unemployment benefits. That means you’ll get your regular statement unemployment payments and an extra $300 every week until March 14, 2021.

Stimulus check for Colorado residents

Before congressional leaders agreed to the new relief package, Colorado had already taken action. In early December, Colorado Governor Jared Polis started distributing one-time $375 stimulus checks to Coloradans who received a weekly unemployment benefit between $25 and $500 from March 15 to October 24.

Could my second stimulus payment amount change if I recently filed 2019 taxes?

Yes. The IRS determines eligibility based on your most recent tax return. If your first stimulus check was based on your 2018 return because you hadn’t filed 2019 taxes yet, you could receive more or less money depending on your adjusted gross income for 2019.

Say you’re a single taxpayer who earned $75,000 in 2018 and you waited until July 15 to file your 2019 taxes. Under the original CARES Act, you qualified for the full $1,200 check because it was based on your latest tax return for 2018. If you filed your 2019 tax return in the meantime with an adjusted gross income of $80,000, you could receive less than the full amount.

Will my unemployment benefits prevent me from receiving the second stimulus check?

Individuals who are unemployed are still eligible for a second stimulus check — even if they received a $600 unemployment check in the past. The second round of stimulus checks is based on your latest tax return, so you’ll still receive a check as long as you have a Social Security number and your income falls within the defined limits.

When will I get a second stimulus check?

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin promises that the next round of checks will start going out the week of December 28. Direct-deposit payments generally arrive the fastest, while mailed paper checks may not arrive until late January.

What can I do to get my second stimulus check fast?

You’ll receive your payment fastest using one of these methods:

  • Direct deposit. Get your check direct deposited to your bank account. Check the IRS Payment Tool to make sure the IRS has your correct direct deposit details.
  • Prepaid card. Prepaid cards such as Netspend or H&R Block Emerald can help you get your money up to two days faster than with direct deposit.

If you don’t sign up for direct deposit using one of these methods, you’ll get your second stimulus payment by mail either as a paper check or prepaid debit card. The prepaid debit card comes in a plain envelope marked “Money Network Cardholder Services.”

How to make sure your address is up to date

Follow these steps to make sure your address is up to date with both the USPS and the IRS:

Updating your address with the USPS

To change your address with the USPS, go to usps.com/move and follow the instructions provided.

Updating your address with the IRS

You have three ways to update your address with the IRS:

  • Calling the IRS. Call 800-919-9835 to update your address with the IRS. Make sure you have your full name, old address, new address, date of birth and Social Security number, ITIN or EIN available to verify your identity.
  • Submitting a form by mail. Complete IRS Form 8822 and mail it to the appropriate address listed on the form.
  • Submitting a written notice by mail. Send a signed written statement detailing your full name, old address, new address, date of birth, and Social Security number, ITIN or EIN to the address where you filed your last tax return.

What if I haven’t received my first stimulus check?

You may not have received your first stimulus check yet due to several reasons:

  • You didn’t file a tax return due to low income. If you qualify for a stimulus check but aren’t required to file a tax return, fill out the nonfilers form on the IRS website.
  • You owe child support. The IRS may deduct owed child support from your first stimulus check — though this isn’t the case for the second round of checks.
  • You’re not eligible. If you have a Social Security card but your spouse doesn’t, you originally didn’t qualify for the first stimulus check. However, Congress reversed this rule and you can now apply for a recovery rebate credit on your 2020 tax return to get up to $1,200 for yourself and $500 for each qualifying dependent.
  • The IRS doesn’t have your correct information. Your stimulus check could have been sent to an old bank account or home address.
  • You accidentally threw it away. May taxpayers report accidentally throwing their stimulus check away because it came on a prepaid debit card and they thought it was spam.
  • Your payment could be on its way. The IRS claims it may take up to 20 weeks to send payments, which means your check could be still processing.

You can check your eligibility and payment status through the IRS website. If you think your payment was lost or stolen, call the IRS directly to learn about next steps.

How to fill out the IRS nonfilers form

If you weren’t required to file a 2018 or 2019 tax return, you’ll need to file a nonfilers form with the IRS to ensure you receive your second stimulus check. While the form is currently closed, we expect it to open up once the second coronavirus relief package is officially approved and signed into law. You can check back on the IRS website to see if it’s opened up again.

How does it compare to the first stimulus check?

Here’s how the second stimulus check differs from the first:

Original CARES ActDecember 20 proposal
Check amount
  • $1,200 for individuals
  • $500 for dependents
  • $600 for individuals
  • $600 for dependents
Do dependents up to age 17 qualify?
Do older dependents with disabilities qualify?
Do SSI recipients qualify?
Do non-US citizens who pay taxes using an ITIN qualify?
Do US citizens married to ITIN filers qualify?

Bottom line

Time will tell what the second round of stimulus checks will look like as lawmakers vote on the new economic stimulus. In the meantime, find out ways to use your stimulus check wisely, so you’re prepared if your assistance arrives.

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