Stimulus check hoax claims $2,500 payments are on the way — don't believe it

dollars check
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite the fact that no movement has been made toward additional stimulus checks in recent months, social media hoaxes claiming otherwise abound. To be absolutely clear, if you see posts online about a $2,500 payment on the way, or claims that a fourth stimulus check is coming, they are false. Don't be fooled. 

The reality is that neither the Biden administration nor lawmakers in Congress have publicly stated that there has been any active, serious consideration of more direct payments to Americans. While there are those who are calling for a fourth stimulus check (and beyond), it's unlikely this will ever materialize.

Not only is a fourth check not happening, but many states have also refused to distribute additional federal unemployment benefits, which are set to expire in September anyway. 

The IRS has already distributed almost all  the stimulus funds allotted by Biden's American Rescue Plan back in March. This legislation provided the third (and so far final) direct payment totaling up to $1,400 for eligible taxpayers. 

Relief still available for some

What remains now is the expanded child-tax credit — also part of the American Rescue Plan — which allows for advance monthly cash payments of up to $300 for each child to families with children ages 17 and under. 

Eligible families will receive up to $3,600 ($300 per month in advance) per child under age 6, and up to $3,000 ($250 per month in advance) per child from ages 6 through 17 — including those who turn 17 before the end of this year.

The expanded credit phases out by $50 for every $1,000 in income for single taxpayers earning more than $75,000 and married filers earning more than $150,000. 

Families who make more are still eligible for the regular child-tax credit, which provides up to $2,000 per eligible child as a single credit at the end of the tax year, and does not include children who turn 17 this year.

The first advance payments went out last week (July 15). Qualifying families have until Aug. 2 to unenroll from advance checks (and instead receive their credit at the end of the year) or to update direct deposit information ahead of the Aug. 13 payout. 

Emily Long

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.