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$1,400 stimulus checks: Who qualifies, how to track, when money may arrive

With the IRS starting to process the third round of stimulus checks, the goal is to have millions of payments disbursed in the next few weeks.

WASHINGTON — The IRS has started sending out the third round of COVID-19 stimulus checks, saying that some Americans could see payments appear in their bank accounts as soon as this weekend. 

But the money may not arrive right away for everyone who is eligible. 

The IRS noted in Friday's announcement that some may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date on Wednesday, March 17. 

It is estimated that 85% of Americans will be eligible for the payments and the goal is to have millions of the payments disbursed in the next few weeks. It's unclear how many of the payments are going to be sent in this first wave.

The “Get My Payment” tool on the IRS.gov website went live on Saturday and can help track your payments. The website notes the tool is updated once per day, usually overnight, so there's no need to check multiple times per day.

While the third round of stimulus checks tightened some of the upper income limits for who is eligible, a larger group of dependents now qualify for payments.

RELATED: You can now track the status of your third stimulus check

RELATED: Third stimulus check: Updated timeline for $1,400 payments

Who gets a third stimulus check? 

The American Rescue Plan provides households with $1,400 for each adult, child and adult dependent, such as college students or elderly relatives. 

The payments start declining for an individual once adjusted gross income exceeds $75,000 and go to zero once income hits $80,000. The payment starts declining for married couples when income exceeds $150,000 and goes to zero at $160,000.

A qualifying family of four would receive $5,600.

Which dependents qualify for a stimulus check?

Unlike the first and second round of checks, payments for dependents in the third round are not restricted to only children under 17. 

According to the IRS website: "Eligible families will get a payment based on all of their qualifying dependents claimed on their return, including older relatives like college students, adults with disabilities, parents and grandparents."

When will you get the third stimulus check? 

Officials at the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service said Friday that processing of 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. 

The IRS said Friday that additional waves of payments will be sent in the coming weeks by direct deposit and through the mail as a check or debit card. The agency added that contacting the IRS or your financial institutions won't get you your check any sooner. 

A date has yet to be set for when those receiving Social Security and other federal beneficiaries will get their money. Though the IRS said those Americans will generally receive the third payment the same way as their regular benefits. 

How can you check your stimulus check status?

The “Get My Payment” tool on the IRS.gov website went live on Saturday and can help track your payment and check the status of your money. 

The website notes the tool is updated once per day, usually overnight, so there's no need to check multiple times per day.

The "Get My Payment" tool will tell you:

  • Payment date
  • Payment method (direct deposit or mail) – Note: mail means you may be issued an EIP (debit) card or a check 

If your payment status is not available, that means the IRS has not yet processed your payment, or you are not eligible for a payment. 

If you get a message that says "Need More Information," that means your payment was returned to the IRS because the post office was unable to deliver it. The IRS said people who got this message will eventually be able to use the tool to provide additional bank account information. 

Why $1,400 checks and not $2,000?

Biden's plan called for $1,400 checks for most Americans, which on top of the $600 provided in the Dec. 2020 relief plan would bring the total to the $2,000 that Biden called for. 

This calculator can help determine how much you can expect from the third stimulus check. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.