The Internal Revenue Service reported last week that the agency disbursed two million more payments in its seventh batch of stimulus relief to eligible Americans under President Joe Biden’s coronavirus rescue package, bringing the total sent out so far to 163 million payments, worth $384 billion, which includes the supplemental, “plus-up” payments.
“Plus-up” payments are 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.
Roughly five million “plus-up” payments have been pumped into the pockets of Americans since April 1, with a total value of $11 billion, according to the IRS. The agency also told CNBC that it will continue to send out the supplemental payments weekly, as new tax information processes.
“The IRS will continue to make Economic Impact Payments on a weekly basis. Ongoing payments will be sent to eligible individuals for whom the IRS previously did not have information to issue a payment but who recently filed a tax return, as well to people who qualify for ‘plus-up’ payments,” the IRS statement said.
The latest disbursement sent out more than 730,000 “plus-up” payments, worth $1.3 billion. Most of the overall batch—or 1.1 million payments—was sent by direct deposit, while the rest was sent by paper check.
But it may be a while until all recipients see their stimulus check or “plus-up” payment, as the IRS is processing an influx of 2020 tax changes with a smaller staff due to the economic impacts of the pandemic. Families also won’t receive the enhanced child tax credit until July, which was also established under Biden’s rescue package, where they will get monthly cash payments of $250 to $300 for each eligible child.
Biden’s relief bill sent $1,400 stimulus payments to individuals with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 or joint filers with an income of up to $150,000.
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.
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.