More stimulus checks being mailed out next month — what you need to know

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While the stimulus check 2 remains in limbo, about 50,000 Americans will receive "catch-up" payments in September, according to the IRS (opens in new tab)

In the first round of stimulus checks, provided under the CARES Act, the Internal Revenue Service mistakenly withheld payments from persons whose spouses had past-due child-support payments and applied those funds to the latters' debts.

To correct this error, the government will issue a round of "catch-up" checks to individuals who submitted Form 8379 (Injured Spouse Allocation) (opens in new tab) with their 2019 or 2018 tax return.

Eligible spouses don't need to do anything further, whether or not they have submitted Form 8379, as the IRS will issue payments automatically sometime this fall. However, you can check the status of your stimulus benefits — both the first round of $1,200 and any supplemental payments — using the IRS' Get My Payment tool (opens in new tab)

This isn't the first round of extra payments the federal government has made under the CARES Act. The IRS is also working on sending out $500 checks to taxpayers who didn't receive benefits for claimed dependents. Parents who missed out on these payments but believe they're eligible can use the non-filers tool (opens in new tab) to claim their benefits between now and Sept. 30. 

What about stimulus check 2? 

Unfortunately, stimulus check 2 is still on hold. Lawmakers and White House officials couldn't reach an agreement on a second relief package after several weeks of negotiations, and they have no plans to come back to the table. 

Formal proposals in both chambers have included another round of $1,200 checks for Americans who were eligible under the CARES Act, plus expanded benefits for adult dependents. However, neither bill has gained steam in the opposing chamber, due to differences over unemployment-benefit supplements and aid to state governments. 

A third idea from Senate Republicans would have reduced the next stimulus payment slightly to $1,000 per individual (but include dependents) and lowered the income eligibility cap. 

In the meantime, groups in both the House and Senate have floated "skinny" bills that extend unemployment benefits but do not include a second direct payment. Those proposals would remove the biggest obstacles to the passage of stimulus-check bills, but neither chamber's leadership has endorsed them.

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.