The coronavirus has officially caused a recession in the United States, and many Americans continue to face its devastating economic effects. Amid the chaos, lawmakers are considering multiple proposals for additional stimulus money. But while the proposals differ in the amounts they'd make available, most of them would provide substantial funds for most Social Security beneficiaries.
If you're receiving retirement benefits, here's how much you could get under some of the proposed stimulus plans being negotiated.
The HEROES Act provides up to $1,200
The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 12) would provide up to $1,200 per adult, just as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act did. It would also keep the same income limits as the CARES Act, with stimulus payments dropping by $5 per $100 in income above $75,000 for singles and $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.
The HEROES Act would make one big change, though: It would provide payments of as much as $1,200 per dependent up to a maximum of three dependents. This is a big increase from the CARES Act, which only authorized $500 payments for qualifying dependents. Unfortunately, most Social Security recipients won't benefit from the extra money as only a small number of retirees have dependents entitled to receive these extra funds.
That means the typical Social Security beneficiary would get $1,200, while a married couple would get $2,400 as long as their adjusted gross incomes were below the set limit.
The Emergency Money for the People Act provides up to $2,000 per month
The Emergency Money for the People Act, introduced by Democratic Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio and Ro Khanna of California, would provide $2,000 per month per adult and $500 per qualifying dependent for up to three dependents. These payments would be available with an income below $130,000 for single filers and $260,000 for married couples filing jointly.
This proposal would get more cash to Social Security recipients than the HEROES Act since it raises the payment for all adults rather than just for dependents. But it has a much higher price tag so is far less likely to become law, as many lawmakers are already worried about how much the HEROES Act would cost.
The Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act would provide $0 for most
Rep. Kevin Brady, a Texas Republican, has introduced a stimulus proposal intended to incentivize a return to work.
The CARES Act expanded unemployment benefits to provide an extra $600 per week, which has led to many people actually making more on unemployment than they did at their jobs. Concerns have mounted among Republicans that this extra cash will make people reluctant to return to their jobs, so Brady's proposal would provide two additional $600 payouts for those currently on unemployment who re-enter the workforce.
While this direct payment would be another form of stimulus for millions of Americans, most Social Security beneficiaries don't work, so they'd get nothing if this proposal were to pass.
Watch for the passage of another stimulus check within the next few weeks
There's no guarantee more stimulus money will come, but if it does, you're likely to get just one more check. While you can't count on this additional cash, you should watch the debate among politicians to find out if another payment is likely. And if the money does come, you can use it to shore up your finances against COVID-19's ripple effects.