Millions of Americans are still unemployed, due to COVID-19. To combat the job losses and economic impact on people’s wallets, Congress passed the CARES Act in March. The bill gave a $1,200 stimulus check to every American adult making under $99,000 a year. However, for many people, that money has long been spent and was not enough to help cover their expenses. There are several proposals that Congress is discussing to provide more assistance, including a second stimulus check. We are going to take a look at the current proposals and let you know whether or not you should expect another payment.
The Heroes Act proposes a second stimulus check
The biggest relief package moving through Congress right now is the Heroes Act. Like the CARES Act, it would provide $1,200 economic relief payments. However, there are some key differences. First, there are changes as far as who would qualify for the second stimulus checks. Non-citizens with individual taxpayer identification numbers would be eligible this time. Dependents would also get the full payment. Whereas, with the first bill, only those with a Social Security number (SSN) qualified. And those with dependents only received $500 per dependent.
Second, the maximum yearly income would drop to $75,000 per individual and $150,000 for married couples. The number of eligible dependents would also top out at three. So, a family of two adults and three children would receive the largest payout of $6,000. Like the CARES Act, the Heroes Act payments would be based on 2018 or 2019 tax returns, or on SSA-1099s, for those receiving Social Security benefits. In addition to the second stimulus check, the Heroes Act would also provide more assistance to businesses. It would also support coronavirus testing measures, including funding for:
- The Payroll Protection Plan for small businesses
- Essential workers’ salaries and hazard pay
- The U.S. Postal Service
- Unemployment benefits, including maintaining the extra $600 per week
- The employee retention tax credit
- Increasing coronavirus testing and contact tracing
The House has already passed the Heroes Act. However, the Senate is not expected to approve it without substantial changes, if at all.
Other economic stimulus proposals
In addition to the Heroes Act, there are a few other ideas and plans in the works, but nothing solid yet. The House is hoping that a second stimulus package will come with a much lower price tag than the CARES or Heroes Acts. Meanwhile, the White House is planning their own assistance act. However, it seems that it will focus more on encouraging Americans to return to work and their normal lives than it will on paying out a second stimulus check. They are also considering tax incentives for people who keep their vacations in the U.S. this year.
What are the chances that Americans will receive a second stimulus check?
There is currently quite a bit of disagreement over the best way to stimulate the economy and help those affected by COVID-19. Unfortunately, this is resulting in delays for any additional assistance. Congress may make serious cuts to the Heroes Act, but eventually pass it. Or, support may come in a different form. If a bill passes that includes a second stimulus check, it will likely be months before it finalizes and payments go out.
What if I haven’t received my first stimulus check yet?
First, you should make sure that you qualified for the first payment. You should be eligible if you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien with an SSN, and your adjusted gross income was under $99,000 as a single individual or $198,000 as a married couple. If you do qualify but haven’t received a check yet, the IRS may need more information before releasing your payment. You can check the IRS website’s Get My Payment tool to find out. They may be missing information like your SSN, your bank account information, or your current mailing address. Once you provide this info, the IRS should send you your check.
What if I don’t know my Social Security number?
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