FILE - This May 8, 2008, file photo shows blank checks on an idle press at the Philadelphia Regional Financial Center, which disburses payments on behalf of federal agencies in Philadelphia. Officials at the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service said Friday, March 12, 2021 that processing the new round of stimulus payments has already begun, with the aim of having the first payments start showing up in bank accounts this weekend. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

FILE - This May 8, 2008, file photo shows blank checks on an idle press at the Philadelphia Regional Financial Center, which disburses payments on behalf of federal agencies in Philadelphia. Officials at the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service said Friday, March 12, 2021 that processing the new round of stimulus payments has already begun, with the aim of having the first payments start showing up in bank accounts this weekend. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

Feds: Relief checks are coming

Most Americans don’t need to take action

Americans can expect to see their economic stimulus payments soon, Department of the Treasury officials said Monday. Payments started going out Friday, March 12.

In a news conference Monday, Treasury and IRS officials said some Americans received payments over the weekend following the approval of the American Rescue Plan Act, the $1.9 trillion relief package passed by Congress on March 10. Additional payments by direct deposit will be made in the coming weeks, officials said, with payments also being made by check and pre-paid debit card.

For most Americans, no action is needed to receive their $1,400 payments, officials said. The payments will be automatic and, in many cases, similar to how people received the first and second round of stimulus payments in 2020. The IRS has a Get My Payment feature where payment status can be checked.

Contacting financial institutions like banks or the IRS on payment timing will not speed up payments, the IRS said. Social Security and other federal beneficiaries will generally receive this third payment the same way as their regular benefits, according to the IRS, and a payment date for those groups will be announced soon.

American citizens and resident aliens are mostly eligible for what the administration is calling economic impact payments so long as they have a Social Security number and have a yearly income below a certain level, officials said. Recipients will receive $1,400 for a single taxpayer, $2,800 for married joint filers with $1,400 per dependent, according to the IRS.

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Single taxpayers making up to $75,000 are eligible as are married couples making up to $150,000. Those making up to $80,000 and up to $160,000 for married couples are still eligible for smaller payments.

Recipients of other federal programs such as Social Security or veteran’s benefits are mostly eligible and don’t need to take any action to receive their payments, officials said. Those recipients should receive the new payments the same way other benefits are typically paid.

Treasury and IRS officials said Monday their intent is to have as many payments as possible be direct deposits as it’s the safest and most efficient method for disbursing payments. The goal was to have 100 million checks out in the next 10 days, one Treasury official said.

The Biden administration is making an effort to promote his COVID-19 relief plan, according to the Associated Press. Also, on Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris and First Lady Jill Biden began a cross-country tour to promote vaccinations and the relief plan, according to AP.

The recovery bill contained $1.9 trillion in spending, including the individual payments and $350 billion to state, local and tribal governments and $130 billion for schools, according to AP. No Republicans voted for the relief package. Both Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska voted against the bill. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, was attending his father-in-law’s funeral and did not vote on the bill.

Additional information on eligibility can be found at irs.gov.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

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