Treasury says it has issued 90 million direct payments – and Americans can start accessing their stimulus checks

coronavirus relief bill cares act stimulus check
  • The Treasury Department said on Wednesday it’s already issued 90 million direct payments.
  • It means Americans can start accessing stimulus cash, including those with accounts at major banks.
  • Individuals earning up to $75,000 qualify for a full check from the federal government.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Treasury Department announced Wednesday it has distributed 90 million direct payments to Americans, and people can start tapping into their federal relief funds.

“The first batch of payments were mostly sent by direct deposit, which some recipients started receiving this past weekend,” the Treasury Department said in a statement. “As of today, all recipients of this first batch of direct deposit payments will have access to their funds.”

The 90 million federal payouts amounted to $242 billion, the Treasury said. It added that the first round of direct payments went to taxpayers who provided deposit information on their 2019 or 2020 tax returns. The federal government has also mailed 150,000 paper checks, the agency said.

The IRS and Treasury started distributing the $1,400 federal payments on Friday evening, only a day after President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan into law.

However, customers at major banks like Wells Fargo had to wait for the government cash to be released on March 17 before being able to tap into the money.

Singles earning up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income qualify for the full amount, along with couples making up to $150,000. Each adult dependent is eligible for a check as well. But the stimulus payments diminish in size much more quickly. Individuals earning above $80,000 and couples making above $160,000 will receive zero.

People can track the status of their relief checks using the “Get my Payment” portal. The Treasury said that 35 million Americans had accessed the service for more information.

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Americans can start tracking the status of their $1,400 stimulus checks on Monday

stimulus check eligibility
  • The IRS said people can begin tracking the status of their payments on Monday.
  • The initial batch of $1,400 checks has started landing into people’s bank accounts.
  • The IRS is moving swiftly to send out the checks as part of Biden’s stimulus law.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Americans are starting to see $1,400 stimulus checks land in their bank accounts this weekend under President Joe Biden’s stimulus law. But people who don’t get a direct payment right away won’t be left unaware of its arrival for much longer.

The IRS said on Friday that people can begin tracking the status of their checks using the “Get my Payment” portal on Monday. The agency also said it expects to issue more direct deposits and send payments as a check or debit card over the coming weeks.

The IRS also said a payment date will be announced for beneficiaries of Social Security and other safety net programs.

Singles earning up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income qualify for the full amount, along with couples making up to $150,000. Each adult dependent is eligible for a check, a change from the first two rounds of stimulus payments.

People earning above those thresholds can still receive a smaller direct payment. But eligibility is capped for individuals earning more than $80,000 and joint filers making above $160,000. They’ll get zero.

The swift arrival of the federal payments underscore the IRS’s improving ability to get cash out the door quickly, especially for people with direct deposit information in their systems.

Last year, Congress and former President Donald Trump approved $1,200 stimulus checks for most taxpayers. Those government payouts started going out in two weeks.

Then in December, $600 checks started going out within days of Trump signing an earlier pandemic relief package. It took around a month and a half for the IRS to distribute 147 million payments.

Biden touted the direct payments during his first primetime address on Thursday evening, timed to the first anniversary of the nation’s pandemic lockdowns. He said a family of four earning $110,000 can expect to receive $5,600 in cash benefits.

The federal government estimates this batch of direct payments will cost $411 billion.

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