Stimulus passes Congress: Here's when you'll get $1,400

Congress passed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package Wednesday and President Joe Biden plans to sign it by week's end, providing $1,400 stimulus checks and an expansion of unemployment benefits.

Here's the latest on how government relief will hit your bank account:

When will I get my $1,400 payment?

President Biden has promised that the IRS will send the payments by the end of the month, though it's likely to happen sooner than that.

The IRS sent payments within two weeks after President Donald Trump signed the first coronavirus stimulus package into law in March 2020, and it took only a few days to send the second round of payments in December.

Biden's signature -- expected on Friday -- will formally get the wheels in motion.

Who qualifies for direct payments?

Any individual who has annual income of less than $75,000, or married couples who make less than $150,000, qualifies for the full amount. Individuals will get $1,400. Couples will get $2,800 total. Those amounts and income limits are unchanged from the previous two rounds of stimulus payments.

A Senate amendment shrunk the phase-out window so that any individual making more than $80,000 or couples earning more than $160,000 will not qualify for this round of payments. People within the phase-out zone will see reduced checks.

Do dependents qualify?

Yes, every dependent qualifies for a $1,400 payment, so that a family of four under the income threshold will get $5,600.

This time, older dependents will also qualify. That group includes 17- and 18-year-olds, college students and disabled adults. They have not been eligible in the previous two rounds of relief.

Separately, the bill includes a temporary increase in the child tax credit to $3,000 for children between the ages of 6 and 18, and $3,600 for children under the age of 6. The credit had been $2,000.

Like the stimulus checks, the increased child tax credit is subject to the $75,000 and $150,000 income caps.

What's included for laid-off workers?

The relief package includes a $300 a week boost in federal unemployment benefits through Sept. 6, extending the benefits that were set to expire this weekend.

A Senate amendment lowered the boost from $400 to $300.

The Senate also included a tax break for workers who received unemployment benefits in 2020. Anyone who earned less than $150,000 will not have to pay federal taxes on the first $10,200 of jobless aid.

What else is included?

The stimulus legislation also includes billions of dollars for housing assistance and food stamp benefits.

It creates a $25 billion program for bars and restaurants that have been forced to close amid the pandemic.

The legislation also includes $350 billion to help state and local governments weather their own budget woes. An estimated $4.9 billion of that money will come to Minnesota. 

The bill passed the House on a 220-211 vote, with no Republicans voting in favor. Minnesota's eight-member delegation split Wednesday; all Democrats voted for the package and all GOP members opposed it.

Democrats said the relief bill will make a transformational change for families struggling with poverty. Republicans said it was saddled with bloat and would significantly help improve the economy.