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Stimulus check 2: Status, date, vote and how much you could get

Stimulus check 2
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Based on the latest stimulus check 2 updates, it seems the government is preparing to pass a second round of the stimulus check payments for eligible Americans. But when will those payments arrive, and who will qualify? While the answers aren't quite clear yet, we've gathered the latest information on a possible stimulus check 2 right here.

In June the unemployment rate dropped to 12.3%, which is an improvement from the 14.7% reported in April. While some questioned whether a stimulus check 2 would be needed, coronavirus case counts have started to rise again in several states and there is renewed interest in another economic impact package. 

There's concern that the economic impact of the pandemic continues to be felt. So if the government passes stimulus check 2, it will be a part of the last act Congress passes to aide the country with the financial setbacks of the pandemic, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.)

The House passed the $3 trillion relief package called the Heroes Act on May 16 that, among support for front line workers, includes a stimulus check 2 of up to $1,200 per person (or $2,400 for married couples.) 

Almost two months later, the Senate is still deciding whether to approve the bill for taxpayers or draft an entirely new stimulus plan. It's waiting a few weeks before making a final decision and passing the bill off to the president, though.

Will you qualify for stimulus check 2? The criteria hasn't been set, but those who received the first stimulus check could receive the second one, even if the check size decreases. People who make less than $75,000 a year according to their most recent tax return qualify for the first round's entire payment. Married couples, meanwhile, received a a larger payment if they have a joint total income of $150,000 or less. 

There is certainly demand for a second round. According to a WalletHub Survey, 84% of Americans want another stimulus check, even if they haven't received their first one yet.

If that includes you, this stimulus check app tracks status of your payment. You can also call the IRS phone number to get your questions answered by a live representative. The USPS's Informed Delivery service offers stimulus check notifications, so you can know exactly when your payment has been placed in your mailbox, too.

Here's everything we know about stimulus check 2, including when it might be approved by the Senate and sent out.

Stimulus check 2 update today

The Senate is debating whether to approve the Heroes Act, draft a new stimulus bill or ditch efforts for a stimulus check 2 entirely, but the idea of a second round seems to be gaining steam.

President Trump is backing the idea of a second round of payments, according to an interview with Fox Business.

“I support it, but it has to be done properly,” said Trump. “I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats, but it’s got to be done properly. We had something where it gave you a disincentive to work last time.”

In addition, both Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow have said that another direct cash payment is still being considered. 

"Direct checks are probably going to be part of it," Kudlow told Fox Business.

Mnuchin said that the Trump administration will "seriously consider" another round of direct payments to Americans, adding that direct payments "worked very well" the first time.

What remains to be seen is whether the fairly positive June jobs report winds up hurting the momentum around a stimulus check 2. The U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs, which reduces the unemployment rate to 11.1 percent. The expected rate was closer to 12.3 percent.

However, as CNN reports, the American economy is still down nearly 14.7 million jobs since February. And as FiveThirtyEight notes, despite the unemployment rate lowering, more people are losing their jobs permanently even as temporary layoffs have fallen. 

According to a previous report in Forbes, President Trump wants at least $2 trillion for the next stimulus. Although this total is only two-thirds the size of the $3 trillion Heroes Act passed by the House, it does seem as though a second round of stimulus is going forward in the Senate. 

Stimulus check 2 date: When is another round coming?

A Forbes report says that a second round of stimulus checks could be sent as early as August. The goal is to approve the next stimulus package on or before August 7, but that date could slip.

During a press conference highlighting the June jobs numbers, Steve Mnuchin said the administration wants to work with legislators to pass another bi-partisan coronavirus relief package by the end of July. 

Plans for a stimulus check 2 could take more than a month to finalize. Speaking to Fox Business (via AS), National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow stated that negotiations around a second check will likely resume after July 4.

The Senate is not scheduled to return from its two-week summer recess until July 20, which means that a new relief package should not be expected before then. 

President Trump and members of the Senate have communicated that they're open to negotiating a second round of payments. As reported by CNBC, he said,  “I think we’re going to be helping people out” and “getting some money for them." He added that the U.S. could take “one more nice shot” at a stimulus payment. 

In addition, Senior White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told CNN that another phase of stimulus is “pretty likely,” but that was when unemployment was believed to get as high as 23%.

And with virus case counts increase in many states throughout the country right now, there's reason to believe the economy will continue to feel the pandemic's effect. 

We'll know about the Senate's decision by August 8 most likely. Then it goes on recess on September 8, which would significantly delay talks around the bill if a resolution isn't reached soon. 

Stimulus check 2: Who is eligible for a second payment?

If you were eligible for the first stimulus check, you'll also be eligible for stimulus check 2. 

People who earned $75,000 or less per year according to their most recent tax returns qualified for the entire $1,200 stimulus check. Married people, or joint filers, who earn under $150,000 per year were eligible for $2,400.

Those who earn more, up to $100,000 per year, received a prorated amount. 

You can use this online calculator to see how much you could expect from a second round of stimulus checks.

Those who earn more, up to $100,000 per year, receivea prorated amount. n it comes to eligibility. While the Cares Act denoted a qualifying dependent as someone aged 16 and under, the second stimulus check would remove that age restriction, as reported by The Motley Fool.

Stimulus check 2 amount: How much will you get?

The Heroes Act grants each member of a household—including children—$1,200 with a cap of $6,000 per family. As CNBC explains, this is an expansion of benefits over the first round of stimulus payments: under the Cares Act, dependent children ages 16 and younger were eligible for just $500 each.

This means that a family of four (two adults and two children under 17) that received $3,400 with the first stimulus payment would get $4,800 under the Heroes Act. Similarly, a family of four with two children in college would get $4,800 compared to just $2,400 allowed under the Cares Act. 

If you want a more exact idea of how much you might get from a second stimulus check, you can use this Heroes Act calculator from Omni Calculator. This tool allows you to enter your filing status, number of dependents and income, and then receive an estimated amount based on the guidelines of the Heroes Act.

Stimulus check 2 calculator: See how much you're eligible for

There’s no guarantee that stimulus check 2 will pass, but it could be useful to know how much you money you'll get as you look into your next few months of personal finances. It’s also useful to read up on the best ways to spend your stimulus check if you don’t already have a plan for your payment.

Although the stimulus check 2 qualifications haven’t been set by the government, this free stimulus check 2 calculator offers a value estimate based on the criteria for the first check. 

How it works: Go to https://www.omnicalculator.com/finance/stimulus-heroes. Complete the short questionnaire. Enter how you filed your taxes (single/joint), how many children you have and your adjusted gross income (AGI) for 2019.

Stimulus check 2: Why do we need round 2?

That depends who you ask. While some are in a better way now that states are starting to reopen, $1,200 might not cover the expenses for people who have lost their jobs or their businesses.

While the pace of job loss is slowing, a record-breaking 43 million people have already filed for unemployment since the pandemic began, according to CNN. However, regular initial claims have fallen in every report over the past 10 weeks.

More people could still be laid off though. Financial technology firm SimplyWise reported that 63% of Americans require a second stimulus check if they're expected to pay bills. 

Students are also set to benefit from the Heroes Act if it passes the Senate, as the Act would offer up to $10,000 worth of student loan forgiveness for those who are considered “economically distressed borrowers” and hold federal or private student loans.

To be considered a distressed borrower, a student needs to meet criteria where they are clearly struggling with debt, including being unable to pay anything per month towards their federal student loan or be in default of their private sector loan, or have their student loans in some form of deferment or forbearance situation. 

Nevertheless, it doesn't look like the stimulus check 2 is gaining steam in the Senate, with Republicans and even some Democrats questioning its viability. As reported by The Hill, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said the prospect of Congress funding another round of rebate checks is “unlikely.”

He said Congress instead will “be looking at unemployment benefits” and “aid to states and cities and towns.”

While Senate majority leader Charles Schumer (NY) said he supports another round of rebate checks, Sen. Christstiopher Coons (D-Del.) is leaning towards alternatives.

“My concern is that [a second stimulus check is] not focused in a way that is designed to help create or help sustain jobs, to deal with rental housing or education,” Coons said. “My top priority is a robust round of assistance to state and local governments.”

Monthly stimulus check: Is $2,000 per month possible?

Forbes reports that a bill to provide monthly payments of $2,000 to Americans within a certain age and income bracket is "gaining steam" with some congressional supporters. The House bill was put forth by Rep. Time Ryan (D-OH) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA.) 

Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Bernie Sanders (D-VT) lead another Senate bill that proposes $2,000 for every U.S. citizen each month until the pandemic ends.

Despite both the House and Senate working on monthly payment bills, there could be too many roadblocks for either to pass. Not only would $2,000 create an enormous expense for the government, but it would be difficult to identify those who truly require financial support.

Stimulus check 2 alternatives

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) have introduced the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act. As reported by Forbes, this would give up to $2,000 per month to anyone earning up to $120,000 per year, and the payments would last until three months after the end of the pandemic. Married couples would receive up to $,4000. 

The Senate is looking at other viable alternatives to a second round of stimulus checks. Republicans are reportedly backing a proposal to cut payroll taxes. However, while this would give some Americans bigger paychecks, those who are unemployed would not benefit.

Some Democrats are pushing for beefing up unemployment benefits to provide relief. Bu just because lawmakers are considering alternatives does not mean a stimulus check 2 is not happening. 

Other stimulus check alternatives, as reported by CNBC, could include providing payments as a sort of short-term loan, cutting one-time checks to those who have lost their jobs or expanding healthcare coverage, such as extending Medicare to people who were fired for coronavirus-related reasons.

Another alternative being discussed by Republicans is a "back to work bonus." As reported by CNBC, one such proposal from Senator Rob Portman (Ohio) would allow people returning to work to receive an additional $450 in weekly aid until July 31. According to Republican senators, a second check would not provide enough incentive for many people to go to work, and there should instead be a program built to aid those returning to the workforce.

$4,000 stimulus check: What is the Skills Renewal Act?

Four senators have come up with a bipartisan proposal that could pay as much as $4,000 to those who've lost their jobs in recent months. They include Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), as well as Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).

As reported by Forbes, the Skills Renewal Act could be an alternative to the Heroes Act. The proposal would offer a fully-refundable $4,000 tax credit that would cover the costs of re-training workers with skills that are “expected to be in high demand by employers in the coming months.”

According to The Motley Fool, those who receive this tax credit and they'd have until the end of 2021 to get the training eligible to receive it. In addition, the $4,000 credit amount would be fully refundable.

Eligible programs as part of the Skills Renewal Act would include traditional degree programs as well as certificates, apprenticeships, and other work arrangements. Distance learning would also be included.