A Second Stimulus Check
By Kylee Hale
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
The debate continues as lawmakers try to determine if a second round of stimulus checks will be sent out. But the upside is more than likely in the month of July, the decision on if Americans will receive a second stimulus check will be made. One thing is for sure, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell has said that the next relief package will be the last. Below are some updates on who would qualify for a second stimulus check and the possible timeline for the checks to be distributed. If you have not received your first stimulus check, you can track the status or report a missing stimulus check here. Also if you are still waiting on the first stimulus check, here is a list of some possible reasons of why you haven’t received it yet.
Decision Making Timeline
There is no official date set for Congress to vote on the second stimulus package. Yet this timeframe gives insight as to when a decision will likely be provided.
7/3-7/17 As of last Friday (July 3rd) the Senate has been on a planned recess and will return on July 20th. Supposedly during this break the members of the Senate will be gathering the information needed for the second stimulus package and return ready to work.
7/20 – 8/7 The Senate will return and be hard at work in session.
8/10-9/7 The Senate will go on August recess, from mid-August through the Labor Day holiday.
Senator McConnell has already said that the Senate will not work through the August break. If the Senate decides to take up a second stimulus package in July, a new bill authorizing the second round of checks would need to pass both chambers on or before the recess beginning August 7th. After the August recess, the Senate will return on September 8th and continue through September 25th. If the stimulus package is not completed by Congress before the August break, then the discussion will resume in September.
Payment Distribution Timeframe
If the second round of stimulus checks are approved, the next question you may be asking is, when will the checks be sent out? If the bill passes the House and the Senate prior to the August recess, it’s possible the IRS could begin sending out checks in August.
Thinking back to the first round of stimulus checks, on March 27th the President signed the CARES ACT into law and the first stimulus payments went out on April 15. This three week turnaround on the first stimulus payment shows that it’s possible for the second round of stimulus checks to be sent out before the end of August. If the bill is signed on or before August 7th, following the timeframe from the CARES ACT, the second round of checks could be sent out around August 26th.
It is possible the processing for the second round of stimulus checks could be faster than first round since some of the hiccups should be already taken care of. The IRS already has the tools established for Americans for sign up for direct deposit and/or check the status of their stimulus payment. However, the guidelines of who qualifies for a second stimulus payment has changed a little and this could affect the speed of how fast or slow the checks are processed.
Who Might Qualify
No details have been confirmed yet. The HEROS ACT was passed in May by the House of Representatives and proposes more coverage for families and individuals like college students which were not covered in the first round of stimulus payments. However some officials say this second round of payments will be more narrowly awarded to those most in need. There is potential that individuals who reported a gross income less than $99,000 on their 2018/2019 taxes would qualify for the second stimulus payment. In addition, there is speculation that college students, dependents over 17, and disabled relatives would qualify as well. There has also been talk that no one will qualify. It’s possible the second stimulus package could be geared to give tax credits and incentives to businesses with some people awarded travel or dining credit but not a check.
How Much Money?
There is a lot of discussion still to be had before the amount of money that might be on a second stimulus check is clear. As mentioned above there is a chance, no check is sent, but travel and dining vouchers distributed instead. The Heroes Act proposes another $1,200 check for qualifying individuals. While some representatives propose a larger check amount and some suggest a tax credit. The amount remains very uncertain and regardless individuals still have to meet qualifying guidelines before being in the clear to receive a second stimulus payment.
With the variance in the information and insight being given regarding the second round of stimulus checks it's best not to take anything to heart. While uncertainty remains as to how our communities will recover and the best ways to onboard a new stable normal, it’s important to focus on yourself and what makes you secure. Check out this recent post on reducing financial anxiety, and the original COVID-19 Financial Survival Guide for tips on managing and saving money during these difficult times.
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