Second stimulus check: When the IRS might send a new direct payment and who could get it first

Second stimulus check: When the IRS might send a new direct payment and who could get it first

Is there a chance that a second stimulus check could be sent out this year? Negotiators didn’t make much headway to pass a new stimulus bill in the past month. But the Senate will reconvene this week and the House of Representatives returns next week, renewing hope that the two sides may come back to the table to finalize another direct payment. Both the White House and both chambers of Congress have made statements in favor of sending a new round of stimulus money to people who meet the qualifications.

If a new bill passes or executive action is signed — the latter could allocate emergency pandemic programs for stimulus money — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the IRS can mobilize payments out to the public within a week.

We can begin to predict when the IRS might send out checks and who might receive a priority payment, depending on how everything moves forward in Washington in the near term — read on for more information. You can estimate the total amount you and your family could get using CNET’s stimulus check calculator.

Possible dates the IRS could send a new stimulus check

Here are some possible dates that the IRS could send the first checks, based on when a bill could pass or when a unilateral executive order from Trump could occur. For reference, we also include the timeline for the now-expired CARES Act. The payments don’t go out to everyone at once, so read on for which groups of people could get their payment first.

Note that these dates are speculative and change frequently in response to the latest from Washington.


Date passed by Senate Date passed by House Date signed First checks sent
Original CARES Act March 25 March 26 March 27 April 15
If Senate passes If House passes If president signs First checks could be sent
Final negotiated bill Sept. 11 Sept. 16 Sept. 17 Week of Sept. 28
Sept. 30 Oct. 1 Oct. 2 Week of Oct. 12
Oct. 16 Oct. 19 Oct. 20 Week of Nov. 2
If order signed Direct deposit could start First paper checks could start First EIP cards could start
Presidential order Sept. 12 Week of Sept. 21 Week of Sept. 28 Week of Oct. 19

Who would get their IRS checks first and who is last in line?

It’s likely the IRS would use roughly the same calculations and tools for sending out the second stimulus check as it did for the first one, including the IRS Get My Payment tool for tracking your stimulus check payment and signing up for direct deposit.

First group: The IRS sent the first batch of stimulus checks to people who had filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns and had already provided the IRS with their direct deposit information, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means. Following that model, the next stimulus payment could first reach people who’ve already registered for direct deposit, either as part of their 2019 tax filing or before.

Second group: The next group were Social Security beneficiaries who had direct deposit information on file with federal agencies. (About 80 million people got their checks through direct deposit in the first week they were disbursed, according to the IRS.)

Third group: Paper checks didn’t start getting mailed out until about a week later, to people who hadn’t signed up for direct deposit, but you could still register for the electronic bank transfer as late as May 13.

Fourth group: The first Economic Impact Payment debit cards, which are prepaid, began going out in mid-May to about 4 million people.

Fifth group: Anyone who received their checks after June or who is still waiting to receive their stimulus payment. The IRS has told CNET that 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…Read more>>