In the lead-up to the Nov. 3 election, Washington lawmakers and officials are still pushing for additional coronavirus relief legislation with a second round of stimulus payments for qualifying Americans.
“We’ve got 11 million people who haven’t gone back to work,” Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell said Wednesday during Congressional testimony. “It’s likely that we’ll need more fiscal support.”
News emerged Thursday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have agreed to get back to the negotiating table, and Pelosi has directed House Democrats to draft a more-focused coronavirus relief bill reportedly worth $2.4 trillion, according to The Washington Post.
As negotiations inch ahead to pass some type of relief legislation, here’s what we know about which qualifications might be built into a new stimulus check, including a provision for dependents who were omitted from the first stimulus payment — some 13 million people under 25. Try our stimulus check calculator for a specific monetary estimate, and make sure you know the six most important stimulus check facts to know. This story is regularly updated.
How to find out if you might be eligible for another stimulus check
It’s likely that if a second stimulus check emerges, it’ll be based largely on the first. It may follow many of the guidelines from the CARES Act that governed the first check, but draw some changes from the Heroes Act and HEALS Act proposals, neither of which is law. The most important decider in setting income limits is adjusted gross income, or AGI, which determines how much of the $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples you could receive if you meet the other requirements.
Who could qualify for a second stimulus check
|Qualifying group||Likely to be covered by the final bill|
|Individuals||An AGI of less than $99,000 (Same as CARES)|
|Head of household||An AGI of less than $146,500 (Same as CARES)|
|Couple filing jointly||An AGI less than $198,000 (Same as CARES)|
|Dependents of any age||No limit (HEALS proposal; up to 3 in Heroes)|
|US citizens living abroad||Yes, same as CARES|
|Citizens of US territories||Likely, with payments handled by each territory’s tax authority (CARES)|
|SSDI and tax nonfilers||Likely, but with an extra step to file (more below)|
|Disqualified group||Unlikely to be covered by the final bill|
|Noncitizens who pay taxes||Proposed in Heroes Act, unlikely to pass in Senate|
|Incarcerated people||Excluded under CARES Act|
|People who owe child support||Included in Heroes proposal, but excluded under CARES|
Additional dependents could count toward the family total
Not enough dependents were eligible for any money at all under the CARES Act, Republicans and Democrats both agree. Dependents aged 16 and younger were allotted $500 as part of the family check, but new proposals from both sides of the aisle want to expand the definition of a dependent to include people regardless of age — that means college students and adult dependents.
The Democratic proposal was to extend $1,200 each, for up to three dependents, so a family of five people could receive a maximum of $6,000. The Republican HEALS Act would provide $500 for each dependent you claim on your taxes no matter how old, with no specified cap on the number of dependents.
Nonfilers may need to take an extra step
People who weren’t required to file a federal income tax return in either 2018 or 2019 may still be eligible to receive the first stimulus check under the CARES Act. If that guideline doesn’t change for a second stimulus check, this group would qualify again. Here are reasons you might not have been required to file:
- You’re over 24, not claimed as a dependent and your income is less than $12,200
- You’re married filing jointly and together your income is less than $24,400
- You have no income
- You receive federal benefits, such as Social Security or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). See below for more on SSDI.
With the first stimulus check, nonfilers needed to provide the IRS with some information before they could receive their checks. The IRS is reaching out to 9 million Americans who may fall in this category but have not requested their payment to notify them they may be due a payment.
Could SSDI recipients get a new stimulus check?
Those who are part of the Social Security Disability Insurance program also qualify for a check under the CARES Act. Recipients would not receive their payments through their Direct Express card, which the government usually uses to distribute federal benefits, but through a non-Direct Express bank account or through a paper check. SSDI recipients also need to use the IRS’ Non-Filers tool to request a payment for themselves and dependents.
These groups were passed over in the first stimulus round
For the payments authorized under the CARES Act, which became law in March, these groups were excluded:
- Single taxpayers with an AGI over $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.
- People who are incarcerated.
- People who died since the previous tax filing. (Their families may not collect on their behalf and are expected to return the payment.)
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.