Stimulus check 2 amount: Here's how the three bills compare

Illustration of hundred-dollar bills and a check from the U.S. Treasury poking out of a manila envelope against the backdrop of the American flag.
(Image credit: ungvar/Shutterstock)

Negotiations over the next stimulus package are ongoing, but Americans are almost certainly going to get another round of direct payments in the coming months. 

The exact amount for stimulus check 2 remains to be seen, as there are a number of proposals still floating around. Here's how each one differs from the others and from the first stimulus bill.

The first stimulus bill — the CARES Act, signed into law earlier this spring — provided a $1,200 benefit to single individuals making up to $75,000 per year and married individuals jointly making up to $150,000 per year. 

Those earning above those amounts up to $99,000 and $198,000, respectively, received prorated checks. Anyone earning above the upper limits got nothing.

The CARES Act also provided an additional $500 per dependent age 16 and under. Most of these checks have been sent out already, but if you haven't received yours and believe you're eligible, use the IRS's Get My Payment app or call the IRS stimulus check phone number to track down the status.

Lawmakers generally agree on the need for stimulus check 2, but let's look at how much each proposed bill would provide. 

Stimulus check 2: The Senate's HEALS Act

Last week, the Senate Republicans introduced the HEALS Act, which would send another round of $1,200 checks to Americans who qualified for payments under the CARES Act. As with the first stimulus check, higher earners would not receive benefits with this second round. 

Like the CARES Act, the Senate GOP proposal would provide an additional $500 per dependent, but coverage would expand to include any claimed dependent — college students, children 17 and older and adults with disabilities, for example. The HEALS Act does not cap the number of dependents, but it would send benefits directly to the head of household.  

If the HEALS Act passes, a family of four with two tax-paying adults would receive $3,400. 

You can use this stimulus check 2 calculator to see how much you'd get under the HEALS Act.

Stimulus check 2: The House's HEROES Act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed its version of a second stimulus package, known as the HEROES Act, in May. This bill would also send $1,200 to Americans meeting the $75,000 or $150,000 income caps and reduced benefits to those making up to $99,000 or $198,000. 

The HEROES Act also expanded dependent coverage to include college students and adult dependents over age 16. Families would receive $1,200 per dependent (instead of just $500), but benefits would be capped at $6,000 per household. 

If the HEROES Act moves forward, the same hypothetical family of four would receive $4,800. 

Use this stimulus check calculator to determine how much you'd get with the HEROES Act. 

Stimulus check 2: A second Senate GOP proposal

While the HEALS Act is the main bill up for debate in the Senate, another group of Republican senators has proposed a hybrid of the existing bills that would send $1,000 to each member of a family, including tax-paying adults and dependents of all ages. The proposal does not appear to cap the number of claimed dependents.  

Under this bill, known as the Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act, single individuals and married adults without children would receive less than with other proposals, but families would potentially receive more. A family of four would get $4,000 — more than with the HEALS Act but less than with the HEROES Act. 

This bill also lowers the income eligibility cap for individuals who have no dependents. According to the Tax Foundation, benefits phase out entirely for single filers earning up to $95,000 and married filers making up to $190,000 (compared to $99,000 and $198,000 with the other proposals). 

So what's next? 

Lawmakers and White House representatives are still working to come to a consensus on a bill that President Trump would be willing to sign. It's unlikely the House's HEROES Act will be the final proposal, but Americans can generally expect to see stimulus check 2 in some form later this year. 

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.