Second stimulus check update: When the payments might be sent


When will a deal be done for a second stimulus check?


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If the House of Representatives, Senate and White House approve a second stimulus check before the end of this month, when might the IRS start sending out the actual payments? We consulted the Senate’s calendar and used the first stimulus checks as a model to formulate a possible timeline. (Here’s the current status on who could be eligible.)

The details of another economic relief plan will be under debate after the Senate returns from a two-week recess on Monday before another scheduled break. Read on for how long the Senate has to decide, our forecast of a potential send date for the first batch of checks and what might happen if legislation hasn’t passed by the first “deadline.”

Check back on this story for frequent updates.

Senate has 3 weeks until the stimulus check ‘deadline’ 

The pressure to build consensus on a new rescue bill is on. After the Senate session begins July 20, it has 15 working days until Aug. 7 to build, debate, negotiate and pass another stimulus package before the last day of the current session.

“We will be having bipartisan conversations about supplemental relief legislation and hope Congress will pass an additional package by the end of this month,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in prepared remarks before a House committee on July 17.

“We can’t go home without [new legislation],” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi countered on Bloomberg Television on July 16, pointing out that the House passed the Heroes Act two months ago and that the Senate hasn’t taken action. “More people have died. More people have gone on unemployment. And more people have been infected. What’s the value in [the Republicans] waiting?”

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Congress is expected to start work soon on a new coronavirus stimulus bill that may put another $1,200 in your wallet.


Angela Lang/CNET

What happens if the Senate misses its deadline?

Whether or not the Senate passes a new rescue package before its planned August recess, the Senate will not work past Aug. 7, McConnell said June 30

Why? Because the Senate’s August recess runs from Aug. 10 through Sept. 7 (Labor Day), which means there are 32 days from the last date of the Senate session (Aug. 7) until the first day of the following session (Sept. 8). If there’s no bill passed by Aug. 7, it won’t get picked up again until then. The September session runs through Sept. 25.

Senate timeline for making a stimulus check decision

Dates Senate action
July 20 – Aug. 7 In session. The Senate is not expected to work past Aug. 7.
Aug. 10 – Sept. 7 August recess.
Sept. 8 – Sept. 25 In session. If the Senate doesn’t pass a bill by Aug. 7, this is the next period it will have to work on a stimulus package.
Sept. 28 – 29 September recess.
Sept. 30 – Oct. 9 In session. If the Senate still hasn’t passed a bill, this is its last chance before the general election on Nov. 3.

When could the IRS send a second stimulus payment?

It’s still possible for the IRS to start sending checks in August, if a second round of stimulus checks gets the green light by the end of July. 

For reference, the president signed the CARES Act into law on March 27 and the first stimulus payments went out less than three weeks later, on April 15. 

For the purpose of speculation, let’s say that a new stimulus act becomes law on Friday, Aug. 7. Following the CARES Act timeline, the first checks could go out by Aug. 26.

It’s plausible, however, that the IRS could move even faster to send out the first wave of stimulus checks, since it already has the mechanism in place from the first batch, including a tool for people to sign up for direct deposit and track their payments

Factors like how many people would qualify for a payment the second time around could play a role in slowing down or speeding up this timeline.

What’s the last date I could receive a second stimulus check?

While we don’t know anything official — and won’t until another rescue package is official — we can draw on the experience of the first stimulus checks as a potential blueprint. 

The IRS will have sent about 200 million checks by the time it’s done distributing the first raft of payments. (The total US population is nearly 330 million people, according to the Census Bureau.) 

The majority of those were sent by the beginning of June, though the IRS said it will continue to disburse the final batches through the end of the year. If there are fewer people receiving a second stimulus check, it’s possible that it won’t take as long to send a second round of checks.

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Even with some businesses starting to open, the US has a staggeringly high unemployment rate.


Angela Lang/CNET

What will it take to get a second stimulus check?

For now, we wait. To receive a second check, the proposed rescue package would need to pass both the House and the Senate before receiving a signature from the president. Only then could it take effect. 

After that, the IRS now has a system in place to organize and distribute those checks. But it could still be weeks more before you receive a payment.

If you’re still waiting on the first round of coronavirus payments, you can track the status of your stimulus check, learn how to report your no-show check to the IRS and find possible reasons why your stimulus check still hasn’t arrived.

Here are even more resources about coronavirus hardship loans and unemployment insurance, what you can do if you’ve lost your job, what to know about evictions and late car payments and how to take control of your budget.



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