The deadline is fast approaching for Congress to pass the next stimulus relief package before the Aug. 7 recess, but even as negotiations continue on Capitol Hill, new clues are arising regarding when Americans could receive their next stimulus check. Although many details of the HEALS Act are proving controversial, resulting in deadlocked negotiations, stimulus checks have gained bipartisan support, and are all but guaranteed. The only lingering question regarding them is when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin distributing the direct payments.
It had initially been believed that the second round of payments would follow a similar timeline as those passed under the CARES Act, the first coronavirus relief package that was signed by President Donald Trump on March 27. Under that legislation, payments began being distributed 19 days later — meaning if the HEALS Act followed that time frame and was passed on Aug. 7, checks would begin being sent out in late August, likely on or shortly after Aug. 26. However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed on Aug. 7 that if he "could get [the next stimulus bill] passed tomorrow, I could start printing them the following week." He said that payments could be sent out "immediately," meaning that Americans can likely expect an expedited process.
According to a potential timeline created by CNBC, stimulus payments could go out as soon as the week beginning Monday, Aug. 17 if the HEALS Act were approved by the House Representatives on Thursday, Aug. 6, passed by the Senate on Friday, Aug. 7, and signed by the president on Monday, Aug. 10. However, with Congress currently scheduled to recess after Friday, there is a possibility that new legislation will not be passed until September. In that scenario, if a bill were to be passed by the House upon their return to Capitol Hill on Sept. 8, and was then approved by the Senate a day later and signed by the president on Sept. 10 or 11, payments would not begin being distributed until the week beginning Sept. 21.
Of course, there are some caveats to this timeline, should it prove correct, as not every American would be at the top of the list to be the first recipients. It is likely that the IRS will distribute payments much in the same way they had with the first that first went to who had filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns and had already provided the IRS with their direct deposit information. The next recipients would likely be social security beneficiaries who had direct deposit information on file. Paper checks would then begin being distributed, likely targeting those with the lowest incomes first. Those hoping for a speedier process can use the IRS' Get MY Payment tool to input their direct deposit information.