Since the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have been working to provide more relief to Americans. In recent days, both the White House and the House Democrats have put forth new proposals, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin introducing a $1.6 trillion plan on behalf of the Trump administration while the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a $2.2 trillion plan along party lines.
While there are still major areas of disagreement between Republicans and Democrats, there are some key areas of consensus -- including broad agreement that Americans should receive a second stimulus check and that Social Security retirees should be included if they do.
Here's how much seniors would likely receive under each of the two new proposals the White House and the Democrats have put forth.
Your next stimulus check could look familiar
Both the Republican and Democratic proposals are remarkably similar when it comes to the next potential coronavirus stimulus check. Lawmakers from each side of the aisle largely want to repeat the payments that were made under the CARES Act. That would mean most Americans -- including retirees -- would receive a payment of up to $1,200 per adult and up to $500 per dependent.
Payments would begin phasing out at the same income limits set in the CARES Act, so single tax filers with household incomes above $75,000 and married filers with incomes above $150,000 would see their payments fall by $5 for each $100 above the limit.
While lawmakers appear united on expanding the payment for dependents to include all dependents, even though the CARES Act made them only to those under 17, this won't help most Social Security beneficiaries, as only a small number of seniors claim dependents of any age.
The good news is, both the White House plan and the stimulus bill passed by the House of Representatives would not exclude Social Security retirees, as other stimulus efforts have -- including the president's recent executive order deferring the collection of payroll taxes through the end of the year. Seniors who receive these benefits would get the money just as younger Americans do and, in fact, the payment would likely be delivered more quickly this time as the IRS already has the details it needs to send out checks.
Yet while lawmakers seem to have found consensus on the issue of stimulus checks, there are many other key points of disagreement that cast doubt on whether they will be able to pass any compromise legislation. They are still billions of dollars apart when it comes to setting the price of the relief bill, there is disagreement on the amount of aid to provide to state and local governments, and there's conflict over how much extra help to provide people who are unemployed.
Still, negotiations are continuing, and there is lots of pressure from both lawmakers and outside groups to find a way to pass a stimulus bill, so there's a good chance Social Security retirees could eventually see some money -- even though seniors can't yet count on that as a sure thing.