The Internal Revenue Service disbursed the sixth batch of stimulus payments from the American Rescue Plan last week, bringing the total number of payments in the third round of pandemic-related relief to 161 million.
The batch included nearly two million more payments, pushing the total value of the direct relief to more than $379 billion, which amounts to about 84 percent of the $450 billion set aside for stimulus payments, the IRS reported Thursday.
The latest disbursement included the additional supplemental payments, or “plus-up” payments, for people who had their third stimulus check based on 2019 tax returns but are now eligible for a new or larger payment due to their recently submitted 2020 tax returns. To qualify for a “plus-up” payment, a person’s 2020 income must be lower than their 2019 income. People could also be eligible if a baby or dependent was added to their 2020 tax return.
Nearly 700,000 payments were sent to individuals who previously didn’t have information on file with the IRS. And another 600,000 payments went to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income recipients, including those with foreign addresses.
Most of the payments were sent in the form of paper checks, or nearly 1.1 million, while the rest were directly deposited into Americans’ bank accounts. The IRS is also sending payments by prepaid debit cards.
President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief bill sent $1,400 direct payments to eligible individuals, plus an additional $1,400 check per dependent. Roughly 158.5 million households are reported to receive a payment from this round.
Eligible recipients for the fill stimulus payment include single filers earning up to $75,000, and joint filers making up to $150,000. Individual filers earning up to $80,000 and joint filers making up to $160,000 will receive smaller amounts. Eligibility is based on the most recent tax return and adjusted gross income.
And eligible taxpayers who were alive as of Jan. 1, 2021, qualify to receive a payment.
Biden’s rescue plan also widened the eligibility pool for dependents, allowing dependents over the age of sixteen to qualify. Those under the age of nineteen, under the age of twenty-four and are students or any age and are permanently and totally disabled qualify as a child for the additional tax relief. The change in eligibility made 13.5 million more people able to receive the stimulus checks.
The dependents must also earn less than $4,300, and the person claiming them on a tax return must provide more than 50 percent of their overall financial support.
Although millions of stimulus payments have been pumped into the pockets of Americans by direct deposit, checks and prepaid debit cards, more aid continues to go out. People who didn’t file taxes and homeless individuals are among some of the groups that may still be waiting for the third stimulus check.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill