Millions of Americans are on track to receive a second stimulus check now that President Trump has signed the $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief package.
The $600 payments are half the size of the $1,200 provided under the CARES Act in late March, but they could still offer much-needed assistance to struggling Americans.
Here’s what is known about the second round of payments — including when they might arrive and how much to expect:
Who qualifies for a second stimulus check?
Individual taxpayers earning up to $75,000 a year and couples who filed taxes jointly with annual incomes up to $150,000 will be eligible for the payments.
Households will also get a $600 payment for every dependent child.
However, those with dependent children over the age of 17 won’t receive a check and they can’t collect one for themselves.
Eligibility is determined based on individuals’ 2019 tax returns.
But those who made less money in 2020 than the previous year can still claim this money in the form of a refundable tax credit when they file their taxes.
How much will each person get from the stimulus?
People earning up to $75,000 will get the full $600 payment, while married couples who make up to $150,000 will receive a check for $1,200.
Since households get $600 per child, a couple with two children could receive $2,400.
Those who earn slightly more than the threshold will also receive a check.
The payments decline by $5 for every $100 in income. This means, for example, an individual making $80,000 would get a check for $350.
These payments, however, are completely phased out for individual incomes over $99,000 and with married couples making twice that amount.
When will stimulus payments be sent and how?
The timeline for sending out the payments is unclear, but experts say some Americans could see the cash in their bank accounts in two weeks.
When stimulus checks were approved under the original CARES Act, it took about two weeks for the Treasury Department to start distributing the money.
People who provided their banking information to the Internal Revenue Service with their 2018 and 2019 income tax returns will likely be among some of the first to see the cash land in their accounts via direct deposit.
But those who received the first round of stimulus payments by a different means, such as a check in the mail, might have to wait longer.
What else is in the $900 billion stimulus package?
The bill has authorized a new unemployment supplement at $300 per week — through March 14 — instead of the $600 per week benefit that expired in July.
It also revives a forgivable loan program for small businesses and includes protections against evictions.
There’s also money for COVID-19 vaccine distribution and cash-strapped transit systems.
What about the $2,000 stimulus check proposals?
Trump said Congress on Monday would vote on a separate bill to “increase payments to individuals from $600 to $2,000.”
“Therefore, a family of four would receive $5,200,” the president said about the increase.
Though the larger payments are supported by the Democrat-controlled House, they would also need approval from the Republican-led Senate, where there’s expected to be opposition.
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