$600 Second Stimulus Checks: How Much Do You Get & When?

*This post may contain affiliate links, please see my disclosure

UPDATE 12/21/20:
– Congress set to pass new $900 Million relief bill, including $600 stimulus checks for individuals
– Also include $600 per qualifying child
– Qualifications *should* mirror the CARES Act

The 5th COVID-19 Relief Bill passed, and it will include a second stimulus check for Americans.

  • Taxpayers earning up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples) per year would receive a $600 stimulus check
  • Payments go LOWER for those earning $76,000 – $87,000 ($174k for married couples) per year.
  • If your tax filing status is Head of Household, the income limit is $112,500.

It also provides $600 per qualifying dependent.

Stimulus Check Cheatsheets

Check out the below cheatsheets to see what you are potentially getting from this second stimulus check.

Who Gets A Second Stimulus Check?

If you are under the adjust gross income limits on your 2019 tax return, you would receive a check. You would also receive additional money if you have qualifying dependent.

NEW: If you do NOT qualify for a check based on 2019 income, but your income drops in 2020 below the thresholds, you are eligible to receive the rebate amount on your 2020 tax return.

Best Place To Stash Your Stimulus Cash?

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What Is My Adjusted Gross Income?

Adjusted Gross Income is your income after a few “above the line” deductions.

Jake, seriously, no one knows what the means…???

Ok, ok, fine. See the below screenshot. You can look at your 2018 (or 2019, if already filed) tax return, and on the 1040 tax form, it’s Line 8b.

1040 Form Adjusted Gross Income

What Are the Income Limits To Get A Second Stimulus Check?

Note: Until the final bill is passed, these are the assumptions based on the CARES Act.

Here are the specific income qualifications:

  • Income details based on 2019 tax return
  • If you are ABOVE the threshold in 2019, but BELOW in 2020, you may be eligible for payment on your 2020 tax refund (more details later in this post).
  • Maximum Adjust Gross Income for individuals of $75,000 to get full check
  • Maximum Adjust Gross Income for married-filing-joint couples of $150,000 to get full check
  • Maximum Adjust Gross Income for Head of Household of $112,500 to get full check
  • Check reduced by 5% of amount of income exceeding $75,000 ($150,000 married-filing-joint, $112,500 Head of Household)
    • Meaning $50 less for every $1,000 over

If you earn $87,000 or more ($174,000 married-filing-joint), you would NOT receive the individual stimulus check. If you earn over $124,500 as Head of Household, you would NOT receive a check.

If you have a qualifying child, you will also receive an additional $600 per child.

Who Doesn’t Get A Check?

Here’s a quick list of a few people that may not receive a stimulus check:

  • If your AGI is above the phaseout amount (but may still qualify for tax credit based on 2020 AGI)
  • If you are 17 or older, but claimed as a dependent by another on their 2019 tax returns
  • If you don’t have a social security number, or adoption identification number (except military)
  • If your address or direct deposit info from your 2019 tax return are inaccurate, the payment may not reach you. (Use the Get My Payment app to update)
  • If you are behind on your child support payments, the stimulus money will pay for those first.

What If I Made Too Much Income, Can I Still Get A Stimulus Payment?

Yes. The latest bill allows taxpayers who are phased out due to earning too much money in 2019 to be eligible if their earnings substantially decrease in 2020. Here’s how it works:

  • If you earned more than $87,000 adjusted gross income ($174,000 for married-filing-joint, or $124,500 for Head of Household) in 2019, then you will NOT receive a check right now.
  • BUT, if your income in 2020 drops below the threshold, you are eligible to receive stimulus payment as part of your TAX REFUND on your 2020 tax return,

Example: Joe’s adjusted gross income is $100,000 in 2019, and gets no check. But in 2020, his AGI is under $75,000. He is entitled to receive the $600 rebate in his 2020 tax refund.

How Much Money Will I Get?

The current proposal gives specific amounts per qualifying taxpayer. Here’s a quick summary

  • $600 check sent to individual taxpayers who meet the income qualifications
  • $1,200 check sent to married-filing-joint couples who meet the income qualifications
  • $600 additional for each qualifying child (16 years old and under) in the household

If you earn over the income phaseout amount, you will receive $5 less per $100 AGI over. This includes the money for each child, meaning after you lose your $600 check, earning $100 more will also reduce your $600 per child check by $5.

Example; If your adjusted gross income for 2019 was $80,000, you are $5,000 over the income phaseout. That means your check would be reduced by $250. You would receive a $350 stimulus check.

Example 2; If Married Filing Joint with 2 kids and your adjusted gross income for 2019 was $194,000, you are $20,000 over the income phaseout. That means you would NOT receive the $600 (phased out at $174k), and you would also lose the $1,200 for your 2 kids. So no stimulus check.

Example Total Check

We are a family of 5, married-filing-joint and meet the income qualifications for a full check. We also have 3 qualifying children (16 years old and under) .

We would expect a $3,000 check from this stimulus.

$1,200 + $600 per child (3) = $3,000

When Will I Get My Stimulus Check?

Updates on when checks will arrive coming soon!

If you do NOT use direct deposit on your tax return, and want payment quicker, check out the info below on the Get My Payment App.

IRS Web Portal For Non-Filers

The IRS has a new web portal to help those want to speed and track their stimulus payments.

There are 2 sections to this portal:

  1. Non-Filers Payment Info Form
  2. Get My Payment App

Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here

The Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here form is available. This form is for those who did NOT file a tax return in 2019, to provide simple payment info to get your stimulus payment quickly.

According to the IRS, “You should use this application if:

  • You did not file a 2019 federal income tax return because your gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples). This includes people who had no income. Or
  • You weren’t required to file a 2019 federal income tax return for other reasons

Information You will Need to Provide

  • Full name, current mailing address and an email address
  • Date of birth and valid Social Security number
  • Bank account number, type and routing number, if you have one
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one
  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID, if you have one
  • For each qualifying child: name, Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number and their relationship to you or your spouse

Filers: Use The Get My Payment App

Update 12/21/20: The Get My Payment app is available for the second stimulus check. Input your bank account info to receive your stimulus check faster.

The Get My Payment App is out, and can be used to check on your stimulus payment (and input your bank info)

Here’s how it will work:

Use the “Get My Payment” application to:

  • Check your payment status
  • Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check
  • Enter your bank account information for direct deposit if we don’t have  your direct deposit information and we haven’t sent your payment yet

Direct deposit: Use the Get My Payment application to let us know your bank account information if we don’t have your direct deposit information and we haven’t sent your payment.

Check payment: If you moved since you last filed, let us know your new mailing address.

Bottom Line: If you are worried about waiting until mid-summer for your check to arrive, use the Get My Payment App to update your info and get direct deposit set up for faster payment.

Is This A One-Time Payment Or…?

The second round of stimulus checks are a one-time payment.

The additional unemployment benefits should also provide much-needed funds to qualified workers for longer-term financial relief.

Do I Have To Pay Back My Stimulus Check?

The latest bill has changed the wording of the second stimulus checks, and it is now considered a “rebate.” Essentially it’s getting a a credit against your tax liability for 2020.

Jake, my brain hurts already, can you just tell me what that means?

No, you don’t have to pay back your stimulus check. But here’s why (if you like details):

  • The bill says this rebate is a credit against your taxes owed. But what if you didn’t earn much and don’t owe taxes? All good, it’s a refundable credit, which means you get it whether you owe taxes or not.
  • The bill says if you get a stimulus rebate based on 2019 income, but then you earn MORE than the phaseout amount in 2020, you don’t have to pay it back, the rebate will be FORGIVEN.

Example: Joe earned $50,000 in 2019, and gets a $600 rebate check. But in 2020, he earns $100,000, which would disqualify him from the rebate. He does NOT have to pay back the $600, and the rebate payment is essentially “forgiven.”

Do I Get A Check If I’m Retired Or On Social Security?

Yes. You will still be eligible to receive a stimulus check. Adjusted Gross Income will be based on your 2019 tax return. If you have not filed a return for either year, the rebate amount will be determined based on Social Security Administration records.

Update: The IRS has announced that those on Social Security DO NOT need to file a tax return to qualify, payment will be automatic. More details can be found here

What If I Haven’t Filed A Tax Return?

If you are not required to file a tax return for 2019 (not enough income, or other reason), the IRS is asking people to use the Non-Filers tool to enter their payment info.

What Should I Do With The Money?

The money received from this stimulus is meant to help you through the financial turmoil current happening. With millions seeing their income drop (many of them to $0), this money should be reserved for essential spending if you are in financial distress.

Here are a few things I recommend doing with your stimulus money:

Get On A Written Budget

Yes, this money is much needed during this time of crisis, but long-term, it doesn’t mean a thing unless you have a plan for your money.

I recommend reading through my complete guide to budgeting, and grabbing a copy of my FREE budget template to get started.

p.s. if you’re ready to make a complete money plan, our 40-page Budget Binder has everything you need!

Budgeting Binder

Pay For Immediate Needs

The most important needs right now are food, shelter and utilities. You may also need a few household items to help through the current lockdowns. Take care of yourself and your family first. And remember, there are options available for financial help on my COVID-19 Financial Resources page.

Add To Your Emergency Fund

If you can pay for your immediate needs, but don’t have 3 to 6 months of expenses saved in an Emergency Fund, these funds can be added to help you weather the current health crisis.

Earn the most interest with a CIT Bank Savings Connecthttps://www.roadmapmoney.com/go/CITSavingsConnect account!

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Pay Off Debt

If you are financially secure and have taken care of your immediate priorities, you can now look at paying down some of your debt. I recommend using the Debt Snowball Method. You may also consider paying down your Federal Student Loans, as they are currently suspending interest, and your payments would all go toward principal.

Continue Investing

If you still have income and an emergency fund, you may consider putting these extra funds into something like a Roth IRA. You can read more details on how I recommend investing in my Personal Finance 101 post.

If you are unsure what you should be doing with your money right now, I also recommend checking out my 7 Steps To Creating An Emergency Budget which can help your dollars stretch further during this health and financial crisis.

Donate It

If you are in a good financial position, you may consider donating these funds to those in need. Some have suggested buying gifts cards to local businesses to use later, which gives them much-needed revenue to stay afloat.

There are also many local community relief funds opening up everywhere you can give to. Or simply help those around you who are struggling to put food on the table or pay their bills.

Find a cause, and give, it will have a PROFOUND IMPACT to those in need around you.

Get Started On A Budget (Free Template!)

This money may NOT be enough to help you through the next few months during this national state of emergency. You cannot control what the market or virus are doing, but you CAN control the choices you make during this critical time.

Make sure you grab a copy of my FREE Budget Template and put a money plan in place!

Jacob Wade

Jacob Wade

Jacob Wade has been a nationally-recognized personal finance expert for the past decade. He has written professionally for The Balance, The Spruce, LendingTree, Investing Answers, and other widely-followed sites. 
He’s also been a featured expert on CBS News, MSN Money, Forbes, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, Go Banking Rates, and AOL Finance.

In 2018, Jacob quit his job and his family decided to sell everything (including their home) to take off on an adventure. They traveled the country in an RV for nearly 3 years, visiting over 38 states, 20+ national parks and eventually settling in the sunshine state!

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