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You ask, we answer: Your questions about COVID-19 stimulus checks

Can I get a stimulus check if I owe child support? Does my 18-year-old dependent get a check?

HOUSTON — Lots of us are waiting for our stimulus checks to hit our bank accounts, and KHOU 11 viewers have lots of questions about them.

You asked, and we have answers about the latest round of government help.

How much will I get?

The rules are the same as with the first round for this one. If you have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less, you’ll get the full amount.

It’s the same for a married couple filing jointly who made a combined $150,000 in 2019.

If you made more, the stimulus amount gets progressively lower.

Get an estimate on the second stimulus calculator

When will I get my check?

According to the treasury secretary, the paper checks stared going out in the mail Wednesday, Dec. 30. Direct deposits have already started and will continue through next week. So the answer to that one is very soon, if not already.

Will adult dependents qualify for $600 stimulus checks?

The answer is no. The stimulus checks will only go to child dependents, those who are 17 and younger.

This means that adults who are claimed as dependents, such as college students or 18-year-old high school students, would not qualify for a check.

Will I still get a check if I owe child support?

The answer to this question has changed since the first round of checks. The answer this time is yes. Even if you owe money for child support, it can’t be garnished this time around. You’ll get to keep your money.


What do I need to do to receive the check?

The IRS emphasizes that there is no action required by eligible individuals to receive this second payment. Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of Jan. 4, 2021.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that the payments are automatic, and they should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions.

Payments are also automatic for anyone who successfully registered for the first payment online at IRS.gov using the agency’s Non-Filers tool by Nov. 21, 2020, or who submitted a simplified tax return that has been processed by the IRS.

What if I never received the first economic impact payment?

The IRS urges taxpayers who didn’t receive a payment this year to review the eligibility criteria when they file their 2020 taxes; many people, including recent college graduates, may be eligible to claim it.

People will see the economic impact payments (EIP) referred to as the Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) on Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR since the EIPs are an advance payment of the RRC. 

How do I find out if the IRS is sending me a payment?

People can check the status of both their first and second payments by using the Get My Payment tool, available in English and Spanish only on IRS.gov. The tool is being updated with new information, and the IRS anticipates the tool will be available again in a few days for taxpayers.

Will people receive a paper check or a debit card?

For those who don’t receive a direct deposit by early January, they should watch their mail for either a paper check or a debit card, the IRS said. To speed delivery of the payments to reach as many people as soon as possible, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, part of the Treasury Department, will be sending a limited number of payments out by debit card. Please note that the form of payment for the second mailed EIP may be different than for the first mailed EIP.

Some people who received a paper check last time might receive a debit card this time, and some people who received a debit card last time may receive a paper check. 

Will someone on Social Security, other beneficiaries receive a check?

Most Social Security retirement and disability beneficiaries, railroad retirees and those receiving veterans’ benefits do not need take any action to receive a payment, the IRS said. Earlier this year, the IRS worked directly with the relevant federal agencies to obtain the information needed to send out the new payments the same way benefits for this group are normally paid. For eligible people in this group who didn’t receive a payment for any reason, they can file a 2020 tax return. 

Will I receive anything for my tax records showing I received a second economic impact payment?

Yes. People will receive an IRS notice, or letter, after they receive a payment telling them the amount of their payment. They should keep this for their tax records.