For Americans eagerly awaiting another stimulus check, time is running short, as the Senate is set to recess August 8. The good news is that there are multiple competing proposals for a second stimulus payment, and one of them, the HEROES Act, has already passed the House of Representatives.
Although Republican lawmakers have objected to many provisions of the HEROES Act, those on the right side of the aisle have shown some willingness to offer an additional direct payment to the public. And if the stimulus plan framework from the HEROES Act is adopted, there's some good news -- more people would be entitled to stimulus funds this time than under the CARES Act that authorized the first payment.
However, while the HEROES Act broadened eligibility for the second COVID-19 payment, it still leaves out millions of Americans. Here's what you need to know about who is included and who won't see more money the second time around.
These people would get stimulus money the second time around
The HEROES Act would make stimulus money available to millions of people who were left out of the first payment. Those who would get money the second time around who didn't benefit from the first check include:
- Around 26 million dependents. The CARES Act provided $500 per qualifying child dependent under 17. But anyone 17 and over who was claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return received nothing, as they didn't qualify for the $500 nor for their own payment. Under the HEROES Act, $1,200 payments are provided for anyone claimed as a dependent, even if they're over 17. This $1,200 is the same amount independent adults receive.
- Taxpayers with a valid Taxpayer Identification Number. The CARES Act authorized payments only to people with a valid Social Security number, leaving out millions who pay taxes but who aren't citizens with this form of ID. The CARES Act also excluded married joint filers when one spouse had an ITIN, even if the other had a Social Security number. All of these individuals and families would get money under the HEROES Act.
But these groups are still left in the cold
While the HEROES Act provides stimulus money to more people, it still leaves out some groups:
- Some dependents in large families: While the HEROES Act broadened who counts as a dependent, it capped the number of dependents each household could claim at three. In families with four or more dependents, some household members still would receive no stimulus funds. Although only around 14% of mothers in America have four or more children , there are many more families with four or more dependents once elderly relatives are also factored in.
- People with high incomes: The HEROES Act kept the same income limits of $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for married joint filers. Once your income exceeds those limits, the amount of your check would be reduced by $5 for each $100 above them. Households with higher incomes could thus still find themselves receiving no money the second time around.
No American can count on more stimulus funds
While there's definitely reason to believe an additional stimulus payment could be coming, there are also lots of obstacles standing in the way, so the chances of a second COVID-19 check are far from 100%. And even if a second payment is sent, there's no guarantee that it will be based on the HEROES Act and include all the Americans left out the first time.
While you should speak to your representative about which stimulus proposals you support, you should also make sure you're not counting on a second check to make ends meet during the 2020 recession. If you're struggling financially, check out these tips to help you during these turbulent times, so you can find a solution that improves your situation even if no second payment comes your way.