Second stimulus check — will you still get one this year?

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While a stimulus check 2 seemed like a near-certainty earlier this summer, Americans may have to prepare for the possibility that another direct payment arrives much later this year — or not at all. 

Negotiations between lawmakers and administration officials stalled out more than two weeks ago, even after all parties agreed on the need for a second $1,200 stimulus check. Democrats and the White House have not committed to resuming talks. 

In the interim, Senate Republicans announced plans for a “skinny” bill that does not include any direct payments. The formal proposal hasn’t been introduced, and senators are on recess until Sept. 8, leaving the fate and timing of stimulus check 2 uncertain. 

Second stimulus check and the recession

Meanwhile, another direct payment could soon become more crucial for many Americans. According to a new report from CNN, economists warn that the country could be headed for a deeper recession and may not recover until 2022.

More than half of National Association of Business Economics members believe that federal unemployment benefits — one of the primary sticking points in stimulus negotiations — should continue. 

If legislation does pass with stimulus check 2, officials have suggested that payments could go out within a week or two. Those who have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS would see their money first, while paper checks and debit cards would be sent out weeks later. 

How much is stimulus check 2?

While Senate Republicans are floating a bill that eliminates stimulus check 2 (but does extend federal unemployment insurance at a reduced rate), most other stimulus plan proposals would provide another round of $1,200 payments to Americans who were eligible under the CARES Act earlier this spring. 

Both the House-approved HEROES Act and the Senate-proposed HEALS Act would send $1,200 to individuals who earn less than $75,000 per year (if single) or $150,000 per year (if married). Prorated benefits would go to those making up to $99,000 or $198,000 annually, respectively. 

The main difference between the bills is how much dependents would receive. Both expand benefits to include dependents of any age, but the HEROES Act would provide $1,200 per dependent (up to $6,000 per family) while the HEALS Act would sent $500 per dependent (with no cap). 

A third idea from Senate Republicans would offer $1,000 per individual (both adults and dependents) but at a lower income cap. 

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.