Here’s When You’ll Get Your New Stimulus Check
President-Elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion plan to cope with the public health and economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and one element of the proposal is a new round of stimulus checks. Biden is proposing a one-time $1,400 payment be sent to individuals, following the $600 checks that were sent out in recent weeks, for $2,000 total. “During this pandemic, millions of Americans, through no fault of their own, have lost the dignity and respect that comes with a job and a paycheck,” said Biden in an address on Thursday night. “There is real pain overwhelming the real economy.” Read on to find out when you might get your stimulus check, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
"The very health of our nation is at stake," said Biden
Adjusting for inflation, the economic rescue package is more than 50 percent larger than the 2009 stimulus plan that followed the global financial collapse, but it's smaller than the $2.3 trillion the Trump administration's tax cuts added to the federal deficit last year. “The very health of our nation is at stake,” Biden added, saying the plan “does not come cheaply, but failure to do so will cost us dearly.”
Biden's proposal comes at a time when the COVID-19 crisis continues to escalate. Last week, the country reached a new high for COVID-19 deaths (more than 4,000 a day) and total hospitalizations (more than 132,000). Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 23.3 million Americans have tested positive for COVID, and more than 388,000 have died because of the virus.
At the same time, the Trump administration has been heavily criticized for a slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. According to the CDC, as of Jan. 14, 30.6 million doses of vaccine have been distributed nationwide; nearly 9.6 million people have received the first of a two-shot regimen, and 1.3 million have had both shots. That's a far cry from the Trump administration's goal of having 20 million people vaccinated by Jan. 1.
According to the New York Times, Biden's plan includes, in addition to the stimulus checks:
- $160 billion for a national vaccine program, including expanded testing and increasing the supply of personal protective gear
- $440 billion to help communities fight the virus
- $130 billion to help schools reopen safely
- Extending emergency unemployment insurance programs through September
- Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour
When might you get the new stimulus checks?
Those stimulus checks would be dispersed to people under certain income thresholds. "As in prior rounds, the tiers of eligibility still stand," reports New York Magazine. "Heads of household earning less than $112,500 and married couples filing jointly who earn less than $150,000 will also get the full sum."
Biden, who will be inaugurated January 20th, said he wants the bill on his desk by the end of January. When stimulus checks will arrive depends on how quickly the package could pass through Congress. That is a real area of uncertainty. The last stimulus package, totaling $900 billion, passed the Senate last month with $600 stimulus checks, not the $2,000 that Democrats and President Trump asked for. Those payments started going out within days of the bill's passage.
After last month's special elections, the Senate is in Democratic control, but by the narrowest of margins—50-50, with Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris serving as tiebreaker. New senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff will be sworn in by Jan. 22; at the same time, the Senate will likely begin the impeachment trial of Trump. The Democrats can't afford any moderate members of their party to object to the cost of the stimulus package, which could result in the individual payments being reduced or delayed. It's safe to say you won't get any new stimulus checks until February earliest.
How to survive this pandemic
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.