Americans need more coronavirus stimulus money, and the good news is that financial help may arrive sooner rather than later.
The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed a bill, the HEROES Act, providing for additional direct payments to Americans. And all signs point to the Senate taking action soon, as majority leader Mitch McConnell has acknowledged another stimulus bill will likely be needed in the coming weeks.
If lawmakers do act quickly, the big question is: How much money will you get in the second round of payments?
Here's how much stimulus money could be coming soon
The $3 trillion HEROES Act would entitle some families to larger payments the second time around. Here's what you'd get if the Senate passes the bill as written:
- Adults would get $1,200 per person, the same as the CARES Act
- Families also would be entitled to $1,200 per dependent, up to a maximum of three dependents. The CARES Act provided just $500 per dependent
- Families with two adults and three dependents could get a maximum payment of $6,000
The HEROES Act also makes more dependents eligible for the money. While the CARES Act provided the extra $500 payments only for child dependents under 17, the HEROES Act allows taxpayers to claim their extra $1,200 for all dependents. This includes college students as well as adult dependents such as aging parents.
However, the same income limits apply to the HEROES Act as the CARES Act. Payments begin to phase out at a rate of $5 per $100 over an income limit of $75,000 for singles, $112,500 for heads of household, and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.
The HEROES Act won't pass as written, but stimulus checks very likely could make it into a final bill
Although McConnell has indicated he believes another stimulus bill will be necessary in the coming weeks, he's made clear the HEROES Act cannot pass as written. But that doesn't mean stimulus payments won't be included in whatever compromise legislation does pass in the coming weeks.
In fact, there's strong reason to believe some direct aid to families will be forthcoming. While McConnell vocally objected to provisions in the HEROES Act providing billions in financial relief to state governments and extending expanded unemployment benefits to the end of the year, he was silent on the issue of a second direct payment to families when discussing the need for another stimulus bill in the upcoming weeks. And President Trump and his top advisors have signaled support for another payment to Americans.
With McConnell pushing hard for liability protections for businesses as they open their doors after the great lockdown, the most likely result is a narrower bill that includes some provisions aimed at helping companies while also offering payments at least equal to those the CARES Act provides. So while you might not get $1,200 per adult and dependent, odds are in your favor for another $1,200 for individuals and $500 for dependent kids.
After all, an election is coming up, an ongoing coronavirus recession is a real possibility, and the optics wouldn't be very good on a bill that protects businesses but leaves American families in the cold.