Under the American Rescue Plan Act, 2021. individuals got a stimulus check of $1,400 maximum for individuals and double that for those filing jointly. The payment was made under section 6428B of the Internal Revenue Code. Each eligible child also received a $1,400 payment.
The payment was part of the $1.9T COVID-19 stimulus package announced by President Biden. This was the first stimulus check of 2021 and the third overall after the pandemic caused a major economic downturn.
A total amount of $390B was distributed under the 3rd round of payments to 163,522,770 individuals and families. Most of the payments weren’t through direct transfer to accounts, around 138M of the total payments. 21M payments were delivered through paper checks by the US postal department. A fraction of the total, around 4.56M were delivered through debit cards.
Under the third round, move families received payment. This included 13.5M dependents who contributed to the families’ total payments for the first time.
Stimulus Check Net Widened But Income Limit Tightened For The 3rd Round
But the income limit was also tightened in the 3rd round. Around 16 M individuals who qualified for the 2nd round of stimulus checks did not qualify for the 3rd round.
Americans abroad also received their checks, around $5.5B was sent to a third of the 9M American citizens. It includes residents of American territories such as Puerto Rico. Members of the American defense forces stationed abroad also received their stimulus checks outside the country.
The IRS has made a rare concession of allowing people to retain excess payment if the calculation was initially based on the 2019 returns filed in 2020. If the 2020 earnings were higher, people would not have to refund the extra amount paid.
But payments paid erroneously to dead people will be reclaimed by the IRS.
One group of people who did not receive their stimulus check despite being eligible were many homeless people. around 12M people, a majority of them homeless, lost out on all three rounds of the stimulus payments. Most did not have the requisite papers or a permanent address to receive their stimulus checks. Many also hadn’t filed their tax returns.