Coronavirus stimulus check: All about the IRS payment status, prepaid card, qualifications

We spell out all you need to know about the government’s stimulus check program here.


Angela Lang/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

When businesses shut their doors and job loss became inevitable as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it became clear that individuals, families and small businesses would struggle without an injection of money to help keep the economy afloat in the face of a catastrophic recession. The legislation out of Washington to battle those forces became the $2 trillion CARES Act.

As part of the law, eligible Americans will receive stimulus payments up to $1,200 per person. Sounds simple enough… at first. The rescue program has raised complex questions about who qualifies, how much money they can count on, when they’ll get their payment and what could be delaying the receipt of your check. The conversation around the relief package now also includes the possibility of a second stimulus check, maybe for another $1,200 apiece.

We’ll try to answer your common questions about how the stimulus check works, including:

If you’re looking for more personal finance information,

Read More View More Coronavirus stimulus check: All about the IRS payment status, prepaid card, qualifications

Sony HT-G700 review: Room-filling sound at a premium price

Dolby Atmos soundbars have been around for a few years but remained a relatively niche product until now. Major companies such as Sonos and JBL, have only just announced their first Atmos models in 2020, while other brands simply offer Dolby “compatibility”. The Sony HT-G700 is unusual in this respect — it’s able to decode Dolby Atmos from compatible devices but not able to physically recreate it. This is a strictly 3.1-channel soundbar, with no actual rears or height speakers and no ability to add them later. Instead it simulates both height and surround effects from the Atmos stream, and does a damn fine job.

Like

  • Excellent sound with movies and music
  • Dual HDMI inputs, one with eARC
  • Wireless subwoofer

Don’t Like

  • Relatively expensive
  • Can’t recreate true Atmos effects
  • No expandability
  • Lacks Bluetooth and Wi-Fi streaming

Sony has been using this kind of electrickery for a while, most recently with 360 Reality Audio on the Amazon Echo Studio, and the HT-G700 demonstrates the company’s deep know-how. This soundbar won’t give you pinpoint accuracy like a true Atmos rig but it’s great at generating a sense of space that fills your room. The problem for Sony, however, is the existence

Read More View More Sony HT-G700 review: Room-filling sound at a premium price

You can track your stimulus check with the IRS Get My Payment app. Here’s how

You want to know when your stimulus money will arrive. An online IRS tool can help with that.


Angela Lang/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

If you’ve not used the Get My Payment tracker from the IRS to check the status of your stimulus check, now is the time to give it a try. And if you entered your info in the portal weeks ago and ran into problems, you could now give it second chance — the IRS said it has fixed some big issues in the app. 

The IRS has been making stimulus payments since the middle of April, but If you’re still waiting for yours, you’re not alone. The checks are part of the 2020 CARES Act and intended to give Americans a boost during the financial shock of the coronavirus pandemic. People who receive Veterans Affairs, Social Security, disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits are eligible for a stimulus check. 

We’ll explain how the Get My Payment tool works and how to use it. We’ll even point you to other useful resources, including reasons why your check may be delayed or might

Read More View More You can track your stimulus check with the IRS Get My Payment app. Here’s how

iPhone SE review: Classic iPhone design, but with 2020 function

There are a lot of ways to think about Apple’s new $399 iPhone SE. One is that it’s a more affordable option than the iPhone 11 ($699 at Apple), with surprisingly similar camera specs, which it is. Or that it’s the 2020 sequel to the original SE from 2016, which it also is. Or, at 4.7 inches, that it’s the smallest and cheapest iPhone you can currently buy (though it’s not that small). Or (and this is my favorite way to think about it) that it’s an iPhone 8 with the brains and power of an iPhone 11. In fact, the new iPhone SE is all these things and that’s why I’m enamored with it.

Like

  • Affordable price
  • Long battery life so far
  • Great rear camera
  • iPhone 11 Pro-level performance

Don’t Like

  • Old iPhone design
  • Selfie camera is mediocre

Read more: iPhone SE 2020 is proof that Apple won’t actually bring back the tiny phone

The new iPhone SE has the classic design that defined the iPhone for its first 10 years. The design, the body and the camera lenses are all the same as 2017’s iPhone 8. But Apple performed a

Read More View More iPhone SE review: Classic iPhone design, but with 2020 function

HBO Max review: 10,000 hours of great TV and movies but still incomplete

HBO Max, HBO’s entry into the streaming wars, is a slick app chock-full of popular TV shows and movies. It’s got HBO’s entire catalog, along with favorites such as Friends, Rick and Morty, the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies, and almost every Studio Ghibli film — making it a solid streaming collection for adults and children, with the ability to control ratings on kids’ profiles better than most other services. 

Like

  • Large, varied content catalog for the same price as HBO Now
  • Simple, easy-to-navigate interface
  • Large children’s catalog and customizable rating settings
  • Ability to see what movies and shows are coming and going

Don’t Like

  • High price
  • Not yet available on Roku or Amazon Fire TV
  • No 4K HDR
  • Can’t import watch history or personalized recommendations

If you already subscribe to HBO or the HBO Now streaming service (or, let’s be real, mooch off someone else’s account), HBO Max is a great upgrade that gives you a nice new interface and loads more content for the same $14.99 a month. But if you’re a brand-new subscriber, that price is at the high end — especially if you already pay for Netflix, Hulu, Disney

Read More View More HBO Max review: 10,000 hours of great TV and movies but still incomplete

10 reasons why your stimulus check hasn’t arrived: Dead ends, form issues, delays

The IRS has been making stimulus payments since April. Has yours arrived?


Angela Lang/CNET
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

If you’re not in the group of more than 152 million Americans who have already received their coronavirus stimulus checks, you’re may be feeling anxious about the status of your payment. We get that.

The relief money from the IRS is part of a sweeping economic package intended to help bolster a US economy staggering from the effects of the pandemic. The checks are being processed on a schedule, which could be one reason why yours hasn’t arrived. We’ve found other reasons, too, that could explain the delay with your payment. 

A little more information about the relief checks before we begin. Your stimulus money could arrive through direct deposit to your bank account, if you set that up before the May 13 deadline. At this point, however, it’s more likely you’ll find it in the mail, as either a paper check or a prepaid debit card. It’ll be your money to spend, free and clear. (Meanwhile, a bill for a second round of stimulus checks

Read More View More 10 reasons why your stimulus check hasn’t arrived: Dead ends, form issues, delays