Biden signs COVID bill: When to expect 3rd stimulus check and who’s eligible

Biden signed bill on Thursday, $1,400 checks coming to most

Reactions to stimulus bill
Reactions to stimulus bill

Congress has approved another round of stimulus checks to most Americans this month -- here’s what you need to know.

A Congress riven along party lines approved a landmark $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill Wednesday, as President Joe Biden and Democrats claimed a triumph on a bill that marshals the government’s spending might against twin pandemic and economic crises that have upended a nation.

More: Biden signs $1.9T relief bill before speech to nation

The House gave final congressional approval to the sweeping package by a near party line 220-211 vote precisely seven weeks after Biden entered the White House and four days after the Senate passed the bill without a single Republican vote. GOP lawmakers opposed the package as bloated, crammed with liberal policies and heedless of signs the crises are easing.

Biden signed the bill on Thursday afternoon at the White House.

When could Americans start seeing payments?

President Biden signed the massive bill on Thursday, March 11, which means payments should begin in the coming days.

Based on the IRS timeframe from the last round of payments, payments could begin within a few days of passage. So payments should begin by early next week at the latest. The IRS has not confirmed a timeline.

The White House said on Thursday that some could see payments as early as this weekend.

You will receive payments quicker if you’re set up for direct deposit with the IRS. Checks would likely be issued a few days later.

Who is eligible for $1,400 stimulus payment?

The legislation provides a direct payment of $1,400 for a single taxpayer, or $2,800 for a married couple that files jointly, plus $1,400 per dependent. Individuals earning up to $75,000 would get the full amount, as would married couples with incomes up to $150,000.

The size of the check would shrink for those making slightly more, with a hard cut-off at $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for married couples.

Most Americans will be getting the full amount. The median household income was $68,703 in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Income is based on your 2020 tax filing, or if you haven’t filed yet, your 2019 taxes. (AGI)

Related: Child tax credit changes in COVID bill: How much families can get

Unemployment aid

Expanded unemployment benefits from the federal government would be extended through Sept. 6 at $300 a week. That’s on top of what beneficiaries are getting through their state unemployment insurance program. The first $10,200 of jobless benefits would be non-taxable for households with incomes under $150,000.

Additionally, the measures provide a 100% subsidy of COBRA health insurance premiums to ensure that the laid-off workers can remain on their employer health plans at no cost through the end of September.


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