The current economic climate leaves many Americans wondering whether there will be a second round of government COVID stimulus checks. Here are some answers to your questions.
In this article:
- What will the 2nd round look like?
- How much will my second COVID stimulus check be?
- How are COVID stimulus check payments calculated?
- Will I be eligible to receive a 2nd stimulus check?
- How many months will the regular payments last?
- What changes are proposed compared to the CARES Act?
- What other proposals have been made?
- Do I have to repay my COVID stimulus check?
What is the Emergency Money for the People Act?
In response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020, the coronavirus stimulus bill or CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. The $2 trillion financial stimulus package, the largest in U.S. history, made select changes to support individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19 and providing COVID stimulus checks.
Eligible American citizens were entitled to a one-off $1,200 payment to help them through the crisis. Some people have received their checks through the mail or direct debit, and others are still waiting.
The masses of unemployed Americans and lawmakers are already questioning a second or regular payment.
What will the 2nd round look like?
Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) suggested earlier this month a bill that would give a new round of stimulus checks to U.S. citizens. The Emergency Money for the People Act or EMPA would see eligible Americans receive a $2,000 payment each month.
President Donald Trump has not ruled out giving eligible Americans regular monthly payments. During a news conference on April 16, Trump said: “We could very well do a second round of direct (payments),”… “It is absolutely under serious consideration.”
Sixty-two Congress members signed a letter in favor of repeated monthly disbursements as “the most efficient mechanism for delivering economic relief to those most at-risk in this crisis.” Among the signers were Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
How much will my second COVID stimulus check be?
The suggested amount is $2,000 per month, but this is likely to be adjusted according to different tax filers. Married citizens who are eligible would get up to $4,000 each month on earnings of $260,000 or less per year, so the rate is doubled for a couple who file together.
For each $1,000 over the threshold amount, payments would level out by 5%. Claimants would receive a further $500 each month for every dependent child, and up to $1,500 maximum.
How are COVID stimulus check payments calculated?
Calculations under the EMPA, Like the CARES Act, would be decided by a claimant’s adjusted gross income from 2018 or 2019 tax returns. If you have no tax return for 2018 or 2019, you could still submit your claim through the Treasury to verify your current income.
Will I be eligible to receive a 2nd stimulus check?
To qualify for the new round of payments, the proposed bill stipulates U.S. citizens and residents over the age of 16 who earn $130,000 or less would be eligible for the regular income.
How many months will the regular payments last?
The program could be renewed after the first six months, depending on the employment-to-population ratio. If employment reaches 60% of Pre COVID-19 levels, then payments will be stopped or reviewed.
What changes are proposed compared to the CARES Act?
The proposed bill also looks to include more groups of people, such as students who, under the CARES act, must claim through their parents or guardians.
Additional distribution channels are also mentioned to include check, PayPal, Venmo, and direct debit.
Although EMPA hasn’t gained much traction in Congress, there is a growing acknowledgment that more payments are going to be necessary.
What other proposals have been made?
There are other stimulus proposals on the table; however, they don’t involve direct payments to individuals.
Senate Democrats have also recommended a “heroes fund,” to inflate essential workers’ salaries throughout the remainder of the year, and a recruitment incentive of up to $15,000.
Another proposal is for the federal government to cover up to 80% of U.S. worker’s wages to the average annual amount, around $33,000 in 2018 until the pandemic is over. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) also proposed bonuses for businesses that re-hire laid-off staff.
The Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act propose to cancel rent and mortgage payments on primary residences for up to a year.
Do I have to repay my COVID stimulus check?
Rumors have surfaced on the internet that recipients will have to repay the money in the next tax year or through potential tax rebates. However, this is not the case, and the money is being given away to support the economy.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Dept. of Treasury, “This is not an advance, and there is absolutely no obligation to pay it back,” Patricia McLaughlin told Fortune.
Did you receive the CARES check? What are your thoughts on a regular stimulus payment? Please comment below.