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Stimulus check date and timeline: Biden signs relief bill

Stimulus check date and timeline
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan on Wednesday, opening the floodgates for $1.9 trillion to flow, directly or indirectly, to the pockets of every American. That means the third stimulus check is on the way. 

President Biden signed the relief package Thursday afternoon, according to The New York Times.  The President will address the nation in a primetime address tonight. 

But amidst all the hype, most people had just one question: When will stimulus checks be sent out? So when will you get your money? Here’s the updated timeline for your stimulus check:

Stimulus check timeline

Wednesday, March 10: House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan.

Thursday, March 11: President Biden signed the Plan into law, although he won’t be putting his name on the checks themselves. (Unemployment benefits, extended in the last stimulus package, are slated to lapse this weekend for the millions of people who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.)

After that, exact timing is a matter of conjecture. Still, some inferences can be drawn from the rollouts of smaller stimulus packages of March and December, 2020:

Week of March 17: Based on previous stimulus checks, this is the earliest date by which direct-deposit payments could arrive in bank accounts -— but the administration isn’t currently making any promises aside from “this month.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called direct-deposit “substantially faster” than paper checks, and those who gave direct-deposit information for their 2019 or 2020 tax returns will receive their stimulus payments in this manner.

Week of March 24: At this point, paper checks could start being issued. Taxpayers who filed in 2019 or 2020, but who don’t have direct-deposit information on file with the IRS, will receive paper checks.

Week of March 31: First Electronic Impact Payment (EIP) cards sent. These debit cards are generally provided when the Treasury Department has an indication that the recipient does not have a bank account.

As the current round of stimulus checks includes millions of people left out of previous rounds, including dependents who are college students, senior citizens, or adults with disabilities, it’s unclear exactly how quickly the IRS will be able to re-map its systems to the new requirements. 

But one thing is certain: The stimmy is on its way.

Margot Page

Margot Page is an editor and writer covering personal finance based in Seattle, Washington. She led the product management team for both Microsoft Money and MSN Money.