Stimulus check requirements: Who qualifies for the new $1,200 payment? What we know now – 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

Congress is currently deciding who will be eligible to receive another $1,200 stimulus payment from the next economic relief package. The current deadline to reach an agreement is Aug. 7, but the two sides don’t seem close to making a deal.

“We just don’t think [the Republicans] understand the gravity of the problem,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer warned Thursday.

Although there is bipartisan consensus on the second stimulus check, there is conflict over how many should qualify as well as enhanced unemployment benefits. Except for one important concession that will make a certain group eligible, the Republicans’ HEALS Act proposes to help fewer people than the Democratic-backed Heroes Act.

In order to assess who would qualify for a second stimulus payment, we’ve looked at the Republican and Democratic proposals as well as the eligibility requirements for the first stimulus payment, which set parameters based on age, citizenship, annual taxable income, marital status and number of dependents. This story is updated often.

Who would get a new 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. 

“[The bill] includes just a few people that were unintentionally left out of the last one. Mostly dependents, college and adults, that are somebody else’s dependents,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday.

Here’s who would qualify for a HEALS Act payment:

  • 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 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


Who would qualify 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 has 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 for 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.
  • 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 receive the first stimulus check with the CARES Act?

These groups did not meet the requirements for the first payment:

  • Single taxpayers with an adjusted gross income 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 eligibility requirements be decided?

While the two sides are now debating the details of the new stimulus package, they are far apart from reaching agreement. To give negotiators more time to reach a deal, McConnell could push back the start of upcoming Senate recess, 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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