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Stimulus check 2 update: Status, latest news and expected date

stimulus check 2
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Stimulus check 2, or a second stimulus check worth $1,200, could arrive for eligible Americans soon. Despite unsuccessful negotiations up to this point, now that the election has passed and the political transition is underway there's renewed hope for financial relief.

With the coronavirus still surging across the country, all eyes are on the development of a vaccine. But for now, a new relief bill would provide more immediate help in the form of small business loans, PPE distribution, virus testing and direct stimulus checks.

When could a stimulus check 2 be passed? It depends on the next few weeks of negotiations among lawmakers. President Trump could play a role in pushing through relief legislation, too.

Trump has expressed interest in another stimulus package in the past, but based on precedent, we could be waiting until he leaves the White House for relief legislation. With only a few weeks left before an official transfer of power, it seems like early 2021 is the most likely date for a stimulus check 2.

Will you meet stimulus check 2 eligibility guidelines? If passed, those who received the first stimulus check would most likely receive the second one. People who make less than $75,000 a year, according to their most recent tax returns, 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. 

You can use a stimulus check 2 calculator to see how much you might get.

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

Stimulus check 2 status and update today (Dec. 1)

In late November, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that he and President Trump's Chief of Staff Mark Meadows are scheduled to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to on a "targeted bill," or stimulus package.

It's unclear whether it includes a stimulus check, but as many states are moving towards a lockdown ahead of the holidays, there's pressure for relief.

In one of his first calls for legislation as President-elect, Joe Biden has urged Congress to compromise on a stimulus package. It's not immediately clear what impact his presidency could have on the status of stimulus payments once he's inaugurated in January, but the former Vice President has previously spoken on how he plans to help improve the economy.

Biden said that "our economic plan will put a focus on a path to a strong recovery" during a speech that took place while results were still coming in on Thursday. The President-elect also has detailed The Biden Emergency Plan to Save the Economy on his website, which includes an increase in monthly Social Security checks and a minimum of $10,000 per person in student loan forgiveness. 

Stimulus check 2 eligibility: Who qualifies for a second payment?

If you were eligible for the first stimulus check, you should 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 the stimulus check 2 calculator to see how much you could expect from a second round of stimulus checks.

Stimulus check 2 date: What's the timeline?

The stimulus check 2 date could come into focus now that we have a new wave of elected officials entering office in a few months. Whether negotiators agree on a new package before the end of this week, or this month, will determine how soon stimulus check 2 will come.

If a deal is going to happen, it'll likely come after the presidential election dust has settled. Plus we're heading into the holiday season, and lawmakers will be on recess for much of the next two months.

That said, leading negotiators are at work to agree on a package. It's possible a bill will be passed that doesn't include stimulus checks, even if it provides other types of relief.

Stimulus check 2 amount requirements

It seems the stimulus check 2 amount will mirror the amount of the first stimulus check. 

“We're talking about the same provision as last time, so our proposal is the exact same proposal as last time," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is negotiating with lawmakers on behalf of the White House, told reporters.

The $1.1 trillion HEALS Act, supported by the Republican leadership doesn't support the expansion of eligibility like the Democrats' $3.4 trillion Heroes Act does. The Heroes Act proposes 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 that became law in March, 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 HEALS 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 HEALS Act.

The Heroes Act was passed by the Democratic-controlled House in May. It was introduced into the Senate, but has not been considered for a vote. Neither has the HEALS Act, however. 

Meanwhile, a group of Democratic and Republican moderates in the House has put forward a compromise bill that would include stimulus check 2 and resume federal unemployment-benefit supplements, but it has not been taken up by the full chamber. 

That bill would cost between $1.5 trillion and $2 trillion, depending how long the unemployment benefits continue. President Trump said he liked the bill, but didn't give it his full endorsement.

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 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 vs. stimulus check 1

Wondering what's different between stimulus check 2 vs. stimulus check 1? The stimulus check 2 in the HEALS Act would provide a $500 benefit for dependent children of all ages, including college students and adults with disabilities. 

The first round of stimulus checks limited this payment to dependent children ages 16 and younger. This means that families with older dependents could receive more money with stimulus check 2. 

House Democrats put forward a similar proposal in the HEROES Act, but it would have increased the benefit amount to $1,200 per dependent but limited total payments to $6,000 per family. The initial draft of the HEALS Act does not appear to cap the number of eligible dependents per family. 

CNBC also reports that stimulus check 2 is protected from garnishment by debt collectors and banks, though unpaid child support can still be taken out of benefits. In addition, prisoners who are incarcerated in 2020 will remain largely ineligible. 

Stimulus check 2: Why do we need round 2?

While the pace of job loss is slowing, a record-breaking amount people have already filed for unemployment since the pandemic began, according to CNN. First-time filings for unemployment benefits for the week totaled 742,000 as of Nov. 19, higher than the previous week's total of 709,000.

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. 

70% of Americans also believe the government should issue a second stimulus check, according to The Motley Fool.

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.