Stimulus check 2 has been agreed upon by GOP leaders in the Senate and is included in the HEALS Act. This means a second round of $1,200 direct payments may be coming soon — but who qualifies? And when will you get it? We have latest stimulus check 2 status and updates below.
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced stimulus check 2 is included in the upcoming stimulus package, which will be called HEALS. The new aid plan comes at a pivotal time — with coronavirus cases still high in several states, there is concern that the economic impact of the pandemic is far from over. Enhanced federal unemployment benefits are expired as of the end of July, too. That's where this new stimulus package could help.
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The House passed a $3 trillion relief package called the HEROES Act on May 16 that, among support for front line workers, includes a stimulus check 2 amount of up to $1,200 per person (or $2,400 for married couples.)
Now the Senate is looking to enact its own stimulus plan. It has proposed a $1 trillion package that includes another round of $1,200 direct payments to individuals and families. However, it reduces monthly federal unemployment benefits from $600 per month to $200 per month.
Will you qualify for stimulus check 2? If passed as is, those who received the first stimulus check could receive the second one, 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.
Still haven't received your first payment? 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 and the HEALS Act, including when it might be approved by the Senate and sent out.
Stimulus check 2 status and update today (Aug 3)
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a new $1 trillion stimulus bill on July 27, confirming a stimulus check 2 is part of the government's next aid plan. However, as of August 3, Republicans and Democrats have not reached a deal.
McConnell and fellow Senators prepared a “handful” of separate COVID-19 aid bills. They were presented on the Senate floor in the form of HEALS Act.
While both sides reportedly agree to a $1,200 stimulus check, according to CNBC, Democrats and Republicans do not agree on continuing the $600 boost to unemployment assistance, which recently lapsed. Pelosi wants to keep it at the $600 level while the White House would like to see it reduced, arguing that people will not be incentivized to find work.
As reported by CNN, talks continued Saturday as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hosted a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Both sides called the meeting productive and will meet again on Monday. "We're not close to an agreement yet, but we are making progress and I'm hopeful that we can get to an agreement," said Schumer on Sunday.
In addition to $1,200 direct payments, the HEALS Act continues federal unemployment benefits (but for less than $600), offers a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) sequel for business loans, and provides more funding to help schools and COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccine research.
But it's less than the $3 trillion HEROES Act put forth by the House Democrats. As a result, the Senate Democrats could hold out on supporting McConnell's HEALS Act until some amendments are made.
On July 30, a group of Republican senators proposed a bill that would lower the amount being sent to individuals to $1,000. As reported by CNBC, these stimulus checks would go to both adults and dependents. The possible total would be $4,000 for a family of four.
Then there's President Trump, who, in an interview in Texas with Yourbasin, an ABC-operated affiliate, several questions about COVID-19, among them whether the president is satisfied with the Senate's new stimulus plan.
"We’re going to see it may go higher than that actually," said Trump when asked if a stimulus check 2 amount of $1,200 is enough.
Stimulus check 2 bill: What's included in the HEALS Act
On Jully 27 Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the Senate's GOP plan for the next stimulus package. It's called HEALS, an acronym for Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools.
Here's what HEALS includes:
- $1,200 direct payments, same criteria as CARES Act
- Continued federal unemployment benefits, but for less than $600
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) sequel for business loans
- More funding to help schools
- More funding for COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccine research
Stimulus check 2 passed?
Stimulus check 2 negotiations began July 20, and on July 21, McConnell promised another round of direct payments would be coming for low earners, saying "regretfully, this is not over," in regards to the impact of the pandemic.
On Monday July 27, the GOP Senators laid out the HEALS Act including stimulus check 2. But stimulus check 2 isn't passed yet — the Senate needs to vote on the bill and earn majority approval. Then, the President gets to take a look at it and will decide whether to sign off on the bill.
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 this online calculator to see how much you could expect from a second round of stimulus checks.
Stimulus check 2 vs. stimulus check 1
Wondering what's different between stimulus check 2 vs. stimulus check 1? Stimulus check 2 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, though their HEROES Act 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.
HEALS Act federal unemployment benefits
The Senate's next stimulus proposal, also known as the HEALS Act, reduce federal unemployment benefits to just $200 per week, CNN reports.
The Cares Act passed earlier this year 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.
That said, 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.
Stimulus check 2 amount requirements
It seems the stimulus check 2 amount will mirror the amount of 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.
In other words, the new stimulus bill doesn't support the expansion of eligibility like the 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, 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 current round of federal benefits are set to expire by July 31.
Stimulus check 2 date: What's the timeline?
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.
The Senate is in session now, so whether it agrees on a new package before its next break will determine how soon stimulus check 2 will come.
We'll know about the Senate's decision by August 8 most likely. Then it goes on recess until September 8, which would significantly delay talks around the bill if a resolution isn't reached soon.
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-check-heals. 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?
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.
The biggest impetus for a stimulus check 2 right now is the sheer number of coronavirus cases. According to data from Johns Hopkins University. the US is seeing over 60,000 new cases per day.
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.
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.