President Donald Trump’s administration reportedly told House lawmakers that the direct payment checks from the sweeping $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package could take up to 20 weeks to reach all Americans who are eligible for the payments.
On Thursday, NBC News and CNN reported on a memo the administration had sent to the House Ways and Means Committee laying out the new estimate, which also projected that Americans won’t begin receiving the cash payments until around April 13.
The IRS reportedly aims to first cut the checks — about $1,200 for most people — via direct deposit in mid-April for taxpayers who provided the necessary information when they last filed to the agency this year or in 2018. That will allow roughly 60 million Americans to receive the payments.
Afterward, the government will have to send out paper checks to the rest of the approximately 150 million eligible Americans for whom the IRS does not have direct deposition information on file – a process that could take up to 20 weeks, the memo reportedly estimates. Additionally, those payments won’t begin until May 4.
On March 26, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had promised that the checks would go out “within three weeks.”
The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to request for comment.