New stimulus plan ends $600 unemployment benefits — here's what you'll get instead

stimulus check 2
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Senate Republicans are unveiling their next stimulus package today, and though the proposal is set to include a stimulus check 2, it’s also likely to reduce federal unemployment benefits to just $200 per week, CNN reports. 

The first CARES Act passed in March provided an additional $600 a week from the federal government for out-of-work Americans on top of state unemployment benefits. That relief expires on July 31, and lawmakers have been at odds over whether to continue federal unemployment and at what level.

Initial reports suggest that the Senate GOP proposal drops the weekly benefit to $200 — so while workers will still receive federal unemployment, those stimulus checks will be significantly smaller. 

Plus, the $200 bonus will continue for just two months: states are being asked to implement a system that pays out benefits until laid-off workers have received 70% of their wages. After that point, federal unemployment benefits will phase out. 

However, lawmakers and White House negotiators still seem unsure whether state unemployment programs will be able to transition to a new system in just a few months—or at all. 

As the Senate continues to debate its proposal with House Democrats and the White House, many Americans are looking not just at the reduction of federal unemployment relief and a possible delay in payments. In some states, workers must reapply to extend their standard unemployment benefits, a process that could take time to navigate. 

What about stimulus check 2?

One thing Americans can count on: stimulus check 2. Though a stimulus check 2 date has not been set, lawmakers have agreed to send another round of $1,200 to single workers making less than $75,000 per year and married workers making less than $150,000, with phased-out benefits for those earning up to $99,000 and $198,000, respectively. 

If you got a check with the first stimulus package, you can expect to get another one for the same amount. This stimulus check 2 calculator can provide some insight on how much money you can expect.

And if you still haven’t received your first relief payment and believe you're eligible, check your status using the IRS's Get My Payment app or call a representative at the IRS stimulus check phone number

CARES 2: What happens next?

Before any money gets paid out, Senate Republicans have to come to a consensus with House Democrats, and President Trump has to sign their final bill. 

But even as lawmakers get closer to an agreement, sticking points remain. The White House reportedly wants to narrow the scope of relief beyond what the GOP is proposing, while House Democrats may resist cutting back federal unemployment benefits or limiting relief to a percentage of workers’ pre-pandemic wages. 

Leaders are on a tight timeline to come to consensus: the Senate is scheduled to start its next recess on Aug. 10 and will not be back in session until early September. If a proposal does not pass, Americans could be waiting on their stimulus checks and ongoing unemployment benefits until the fall. 

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Emily Long

Emily Long is a Utah-based freelance writer who covers consumer technology, privacy and personal finance for Tom's Guide. She has been reporting and writing for nearly 10 years, and her work has appeared in Wirecutter, Lifehacker, NBC BETTER and CN Traveler, among others. When she's not working, you can find her trail running, teaching and practicing yoga, or studying for grad school — all fueled by coffee, obviously.