Take a deep breath because it could be up to five months before you get a check from the government. Despite early assurances from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that Americans would be getting stimulus checks as soon as Monday, a memo obtained by CNN and NBC News suggests the first payments won't be made for at least 10 days and the rest could take as long as 20 weeks to arrive. The memo from the House Ways and Means Committee indicates the IRS will make some 60 million payments to taxpayers who provided direct deposit information with their 2018 or 2019 tax returns, "likely" during the week of April 13. Beginning the week of May 4, about 5 million paper checks per week will then be mailed to those whose payment details are not on file, according to the memo.
Some 80 million taxpayers who have not supplied direct deposit information will get those paper checks, per CNN, which reports that means it'll take as many as 20 weeks to get them all out. The memo, based on "extensive" communication with IRS and Treasury officials, describes an effort to create an online system for people to update their information and review their payment status by late April or early May. In the meantime, "individuals with the lowest income, based on adjusted gross income, will receive their checks first," CNN reports. Individuals earning up to $75,000 will receive $1,200 and couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $2,400, plus $500 per child. Payments are reduced as income levels increase. (Read more coronavirus stories.)