$2,000 stimulus checks? Here's when Biden will let us know

Former Vice President Joe Biden during an appearance at the Democratic Wing Ding in Iowa.
(Image credit: Pix_Arena/Shutterstock)

Americans are likely to see additional direct payments under President-elect Joe Biden's stimulus relief plan, which is expected to be introduced on Thursday evening (Jan. 14). While the package is almost certain to include a third stimulus check, the exact amount isn't yet clear.  

Brian Deese, Biden's pick for director of the National Economic Council, suggested on Wednesday (opens in new tab) that payments would be $2,000, the amount Democrats and President Trump have been tossing around for weeks

However, it could be that this third round of checks would be only $1,400 per person, simply totaling (opens in new tab) $2,000 when combined with the $600 checks sent out in the past few weeks. 

"Democrats wanted to do much more in the last bill and promised to do more, if given the opportunity, to increase direct payments to a total of $2,000 — we will get that done," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York), who will soon be Senate majority leader, wrote in a letter to lawmakers (opens in new tab) on Tuesday. 

According to CNN (opens in new tab), Biden's whole package is expected to cost around $2 trillion — much more than the $900 billion relief bill lawmakers approved in December. The president-elect may be aiming for bipartisan support in the Senate, even with a higher price tag, and some Republicans seem willing to get on board. 

In a letter sent to Biden on Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), said he's open to a bill that includes $2,000 checks. 

"It would send a powerful message to the American people if, on the first day of your presidency, you called on the House and Senate to send you legislation to increase the direct economic impact payments to Americans struggling due to the pandemic from $600 to $2,000," Rubio wrote (opens in new tab)

Still waiting on your second stimulus check? 

The $600 payments authorized by Congress in December must be processed and sent out by this Friday (Jan. 15) based on provisions included in the $900 billion bill. 

Many people have already seen those funds appear via direct deposit or paper check, but if you haven't received your payment and believe you're eligible, you can check the status using the Get My Payment tool (opens in new tab) on IRS.gov. 

Note that individuals making more than $87,000 per year, and joint filers making $174,000, won't receive any second check. That's a lower cutoff than with last spring's CARES Act, which gave at least some money to individuals earning up to $99,000, and covered joint filers earning up to $198,000. 

That's because if a filer's income is over $75,000 per person, then both laws reduce the amount the filer gets by $5 for every $100 in income. The $600 payments from December's bill are simply eaten up twice as fast as the $1,200 checks from last spring.

Emily Long is a Utah-based freelance writer who covers consumer technology, privacy and personal finance for Tom's Guide. She has been reporting and writing for nearly 10 years, and her work has appeared in Wirecutter, Lifehacker, NBC BETTER and CN Traveler, among others. When she's not working, you can find her trail running, teaching and practicing yoga, or studying for grad school — all fueled by coffee, obviously.