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Second Stimulus Check: Eligibility & Payment

Updated : January 20th, 2021

Although the businesses have reopened, millions of Americans continue to struggle to get a job and meet their basic needs. To help the unemployed, Congress has announced a second Coronavirus stimulus package. In this post, we will guide you through the eligibility requirements to qualify for the second stimulus check and lots more. But before that, let’s learn more about the new stimulus package.  

What Is The Second Stimulus Check Status?

After months of stalled negotiations, Congress has recently approved a $900 billion Coronavirus stimulus deal. The package was announced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. 

Under the newly announced stimulus bill, the qualified Americans can receive $600 payment and $300 weekly unemployment benefits (total $286). In addition, the unemployment stimulus package provides aid for the following.

1. $325 Billion For Small Businesses

About $284 billion aid will be given as forgivable loans as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), allowing businesses with employees fewer than 500 to cover payroll, utilities, and rent. Another $15 billion will be given to cultural institutions, movie theaters, and live venues as part of the Save Our Stages Act. 

2. $69 Billion For Public-Health Measures (including Vaccination And Testing)

This includes funding for efforts to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, including $20 billion for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, for vaccine procurement and distribution, and the office within the Department of Health and Human Services. $9 billion will be given to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the vaccination effort.

States will also receive $22 billion for test-and-trace programs to help understand and slow down the virus’s spread.

3. $82 Billion For Schools

Spending for schools is divided between the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund ($22.7 billion) and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund ($54.3 billion). 

The bill also provides funds for transportation ($45 billion), rental assistance ($25 billion), MTA ($4 billion), and additional SNAP benefits ( $13 billion). 

President-elect Joe Biden and four big negotiations — House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are in favor of the new stimulus bill.

Who Qualifies For The Second Stimulus Check?

The following people can qualify for the second unemployment stimulus package. 

  • Have filed taxes in 2018 or 2019
  • Dependent children under the age of 17 
  • People who do not earn enough to file but get federal benefits payments, including disability benefits or Social Security retirement, Veterans Affairs benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Do not earn enough to file and do not get federal benefits, but use the IRS non-filers to input the mailing and bank information
  • Earned less than $87,000 (single filers), $174,000 (married filers), $124,500 (heads of household) according to the most recent income tax return filed
  • One member of a household has a Social Security number, and another has an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) 

Note that individuals aged 17 and older and are claimed as dependent on someone else’s tax return do not qualify for the stimulus checks. 

How Much Payment Can One Receive Under The New Stimulus Bill?

Americans (adults) who have earned less than $75,000 in 2019 will get the full $600 payment, and couples who have earned less than $150,000 will get $1,200. The payments will be tapered for higher-earners, i.e., 5% of the amount by which the Adjusted Gross Incomes (AGI) exceeded their initial threshold. Payments are completely phased out for individuals earning more than $87,000 and couples earning more than $174,000.

Federal benefits recipients and individuals who have no income are eligible for the full payment. 

When Will Americans Receive The Stimulus Check?

According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the second stimulus check will start going out the week of December 28, provided President Trump signs it. While people who receive benefits through Direct-deposit may get stimulus checks quickest, payments sent by mail or pre-paid debit card could take until late January 2021. 

The agency will mostly use the bank account information and address collected from individuals during the first round of stimulus payments to transfer the money. People who receive Social Security benefits may not be required to submit any additional paperwork because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may likely send the stimulus benefits just as they disburse other monthly benefits. 

Are Stimulus Checks Taxable?

Stimulus checks are not taxable as they are not considered as a source of income under federal laws. However, individuals who receive regular UI benefits will be subject to taxes.

Bottom Line

Second stimulus checks are need of the hour as two federal programs are set to expire on December 26. They could help millions of Americans to pay their bills and make it through these difficult times. Let’s wait and watch if President Donald Trump will sign the bill and provide relief to the Americans or provide a different financial solution.  


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