New stimulus check qualifications? How the eligibility requirements could change – CNET


$1, $10 and $20 bills sticking out of a wallet

The proposals for who may or may not qualify for a second stimulus check are coming into focus.

Angela Lang/CNET

second stimulus check is expected to be part of the next economic rescue package once it’s finalized, though negotiations continue to delay when you may receive your payment, if you qualify.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have yet to say if they’ve agreed who will be eligible for another stimulus payment. The Republican-backed HEALS Act mostly follows the guidelines for the first stimulus payment set in the March CARES Act but proposes $500 for one group that was bypassed the first time. Meanwhile, the Democratic-penned Heroes Act seeks to have more people qualify for stimulus money, and for dependents to count toward their own $1,200 maximum for the family.

With the negotiations sparking over other parts of the stimulus bill, including the fate of enhanced unemployment, it’s unclear how much the eligibility requirements set out in the HEALS proposal will alter, if they do at all.

While discussions continue, let’s take a look at what we know about who could qualify for another round of stimulus checks — and who might not be eligible. This story is updated often.

Here’s who could get a stimulus check under the HEALS Act

The Senate Republicans’ HEALS Act would follow the payment guidelines set out in the CARES Act, with a new adjustment for dependents:

  • A single US resident with an adjusted gross income less than $99,000.
  • A head of a household earning under $146,500.
  • A couple filing jointly without children and earning less than $198,000.
  • A dependent of any age. 

In the CARES Act, the cutoff to receive a $500 dependent check was age 16 and younger and college students under 24 were not eligible to receive a check. The Senate proposal would exclude those in prison and people who recently died from qualifying for a check. The bill would also prohibit creditors and banks from seizing the payment to pay debts.

Now playing: Watch this: Stimulus standoff on Capitol Hill


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Who qualifies for a new stimulus check under the Democratic plan?

The broadest eligibility parameters suggested so far come from the Heroes Act, which was proposed by the House of Representatives on May 15. Although it’s been fiercely opposed by Senate Republicans and President Donald Trump, we can look to this bill to help frame the conversation about the upper limits of who might qualify in a broad proposal:

  • Individuals who made less than $99,000 according to the adjusted gross income from their 2018 or 2019 taxes (whichever was most recently filed).
  • College students, dependents over 17, disabled relatives and taxpayers’ parents.
  • Families of up to five people for a cap of $6,000 per family.
  • SSDI recipients.
  • People who aren’t US citizens and do file tax returns, pay taxes and otherwise comply with federal tax law using an individual taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security number.
$20 bills and credit cards in a wallet

It may soon become clear who can qualify for another stimulus check.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Who didn’t get a stimulus check under the CARES Act?

These groups didn’t meet the requirements for the first payment:

  • Single taxpayers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) above $99,000.
  • Heads of households with an AGI over $136,500.
  • Married couples with an AGI over $198,000.
  • Children over 16 and college students under age 24.
  • Nonresident aliens, as defined by the US government.

When will the eligibility requirements be finalized?

While Republicans and Democrats are now debating the details of the new stimulus package, they are far apart from reaching an agreement. To give negotiators more time to make a deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could push back the start of the upcoming Senate recess in August, which he has done before. After the sides reach an agreement, the stimulus bill won’t take effect until the president signs it into law. 

And while we won’t know for sure until the two sides come together on the next stimulus package, we have a good idea what Congress’ deadline is and when a check could be sent

For more, here’s what we know about the major proposals for a second stimulus package. We also have information on unemployment insurance, what you can do if you’ve lost your job, if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS and what to know about evictions.

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