The Internal Revenue Service sent out COVID-19 relief checks to nearly 2 million more Americans in the fifth round of payments made under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, the agency said Wednesday.
It also included “plus-up” payments for those who are eligible for more money now that their 2020 tax returns have been processed.
That brings the total disbursed payments from the third round of stimulus checks during the coronavirus pandemic to about 159 million, worth more than $376 billion since these checks began rolling out to Americans in batches starting in mid-March.
The payments, which total up to $1,400 per individual, were distributed mostly by direct deposits and paper checks. Overall, the fifth batch of payments contained nearly 1.2 million direct deposit payments, totaling just under $2 billion. It also included nearly 800,000 paper checks, worth more than $1.4 billion.
The fifth batch of payments began processing on Friday, April 9, with an official payment date of April 14, with some people receiving direct payments in their accounts earlier as provisional or pending deposits, according to the IRS.
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IRS distributes more ‘plus-up’ payments
The fifth batch of payments included more than 700,000 "plus-up" payments for people who were eligible for more money once their 2020 tax returns were processed. These are taxpayers or households who either didn’t qualify for a third stimulus check based on their 2019 income or got less than they were due.
If your income fell last year and you made significantly less money than what was reported on your 2019 income tax return, you may be eligible for another check. Those who had a child or added a dependent could also qualify for more money if this wasn't listed on their 2019 return but is now listed on their 2020 return.
When will 'plus-up' payments arrive?
In addition, nearly 850,000 payments were issued to people who recently filed tax returns because the government previously didn’t have them on record.
Payments for this group and the “plus-up” payments will continue on a weekly basis going forward, the IRS said, as the agency continues processing tax returns from 2020 and 2019.
If you received your stimulus payment via direct deposit, that’s likely how you will get the “plus-up” money. If the IRS doesn't have your information, you may receive a paper check instead, tax experts say.
Some VA beneficiaries start to get checks
Following delays, more than 320,000 payments in the fifth batch went to Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension benefit payments, but who don't normally file a tax return and didn't use the Non-Filers tool last year, according to the IRS.
Another 72,000 payments went to Social Security beneficiaries who didn't file a 2020 or 2019 tax return and didn't use the Non-Filers tool last year, the agency said.
More than 95% of all Social Security beneficiaries have been paid electronically during this round of payments, compared with 70% in the first round and 72% in the second round, the IRS added.
How do I check the status of my payment?
Get updates on the status of your next stimulus payment using the IRS "Get My Payment" tool. To use it, enter your full Social Security number or tax ID number, date of birth, street address and ZIP code.
For those who are eligible, the tool will show a "Payment Status" of when the payment has been issued and the payment date for direct deposit or mail, according to the IRS's frequently asked questions.
The payments amount to $1,400 for a single person or $2,800 for a married couple filing jointly, plus an additional $1,400 for each dependent child. Individuals earning up to $75,000 get the full payments, as do married couples with incomes up to $150,000.
Payments decline for incomes above those thresholds, phasing out above $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for married couples.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Stimulus check update: COVID ‘plus up’ payments sent to 700K Americans