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Stimulus check requirements: Here's what we know about eligibility and a new relief package

by Carri Juan (2020-08-21)

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The final proposal for qualifications to get a second stimulus check is coming into focus.
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The Senate and the House of Representatives left for recess until after Labor Day, which possibly puts talks for another rescue package on pause until they return on Sept. 8. But this weekend saw urging from both sides to restart negotiations sooner. However, the uncertain calendar puts your timeline for getting a second stimulus check -- including the most money your family might be able to receive -- on hold. Until negotiations resume, we don't know how the qualifications may vary from the first stimulus payment to the second.One way your family could benefit from a second round of payments is through a provision in the Republican-led HEALS Act. This would eliminate an age restriction that kept a large number of kids aged 17 through 24 from counting toward the family total in the first round of payments. Meanwhile, the Heroes Act -- which the Senate never formally took up or vetoed after the Democratic-led House passed it in May -- advances even broader eligibility requirements.If you still have questions about who could be eligible for a second round of stimulus checks (and who was passed over last time), read on for everything we know right now. We update this story frequently as new information becomes available.

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Qualifications under the Republican HEALS Act planWhile talks on a new bill are currently stalled, the Republicans are using their HEALS Act as the starting point for negotiations. If the part of the HEALS Act that deals with a second economic payment becomes law, it would largely replicate the payment eligibility set out in the now expired CARES Act, with a new allowance for dependents.Here's an outline of what we could see:A single US resident with an adjusted gross income, or AGI, of less than $99,000A head of a household earning under $146,500A couple filing jointly without children and earning less than $198,000A dependent of any age
Under the CARES Act, the cutoff to receive a $500 dependent check was age 16 and younger; college students under 24 years old weren't eligible to receive a check. The Republican proposal would exclude people 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.

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Stimulus Check Standoff


The Democrats' vision for who gets a stimulus check
Democratic negotiators are in part using the Heroes Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives on May 15, as their basis for debate. Although Senate Republicans and the president oppose the plan, we can look to this bill to see the Democratic position on 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' parentsFamilies of up to five people, for a cap of $6,000 per familySSDI recipientsPeople who aren't US citizens but 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 walletIt could soon become clear who will qualify for another stimulus check.
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Who didn't get a stimulus check under the CARES Act
For the payments authorized under the CARES Act, which became law in March, these groups were excluded from receiving the first check: Single taxpayers with an adjusted gross income above $99,000Heads of households with an AGI over $136,500Married couples with an AGI over $198,000Children over 16 and college students under age 24Nonresident aliens, as defined by the US government When will Congress decide who's eligible? Right now, wowgoldone the timeline for discussions is up in the air. Talks between Republican and Democratic negotiators on the new stimulus package stalled, but the two sides have signaled they are willing to pick up the debate. With the Senate on break until after Labor Day, the chances of a deal in August seem unlikely, but an agreement in September is now in the picture. 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 when a check could be sent, if a new bill passes. 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. Shelby Brown contributed to this report.

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