Second Stimulus Checks: 4 Plans Compared

Here are four major proposals for second stimulus checks and how they compare.

Here’s what you need to know.

Second Stimulus Checks

Will there be a second stimulus check? How much is the second stimulus check? When will you get a second stimulus check? As Congress debates the next stimulus package, Americans are curious what second stimulus checks may look like. There are many different options for a second stimulus check. Here’s a breakdown:

1. Second Stimulus Checks: $1,200 check + $500 for each dependent

On Monday, Senate Republicans announced the Heals Act (Health, Economic Assistance Liability Protection & Schools Act), a ~$1 trillion stimulus package proposal as a follow up to the Cares Act, the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that Congress passed in March.

Who is eligible for a second stimulus check?

Under the Republican proposal, which is primarily based on the first stimulus check, second stimulus checks (or Economic Impact Payments) would be a one-time stimulus check and work like this:

  • Stimulus Check Amount: $1,200 for each individual;
  • Married/Joint Filers: $2,400 for married/joint filers;
  • Dependents: $500 for dependents (no age cap, which helps high school students, college students and other adult dependents).
  • Income Requirements: If you earned less than $75,000 (individuals) or $150,000 (married/joint filers), you would receive a $1,200 second stimulus check.
  • More Details: Like the first stimulus check, the second stimulus check will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of adjusted gross income above those income limits until $99,000 of adjusted gross income for individuals and $198,000 for married/joint filers.
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Previously, McConnell suggested that second stimulus checks may only be available to Americans who earn up to $40,000 a year. Republicans removed the age limit for dependents, which means a dependent 17 and over would qualify for dependent stimulus payments. This include high school students, college students and other adult dependents.

Family of Four: A family of four, with married/joint filers, could receive up to $3,400 under this proposal.

Likelihood of Happening: More Likely


2. Second Stimulus Checks: $1,200 check + $1,200 for each dependent

The Democrats proposed second stimulus checks in the Heroes Act, which is the $3 trillion stimulus package that House Democrats passed, but that has since stalled in the Senate. Under the Democrats’ proposal, second stimulus checks (or Economic Impact Payments) also would be based primarily on the first stimulus check, would be a one-time stimulus check and would work like this:

  • Stimulus Check Amount: $1,200 for each individual;
  • Married/Joint Filers: $2,400 for married/joint filers;
  • Dependents: $1,200 for dependents (no age cap, which helps high school students, college students and other adult dependents).
  • Income Requirements: If you earned less than $75,000 (individuals) or $150,000 (married/joint filers), you would receive a $1,200 second stimulus check.
  • More Details: Like the first stimulus check, the second stimulus check will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of adjusted gross income above those income limits until $99,000 of adjusted gross income for individuals and $198,000 for married/joint filers.

While Republicans propose $500 for each dependent, Democrats want $1,200 for each dependent, with a maximum of three dependents.

Family of Four: A family of four, with married/joint filers, could receive up to $6,000 under this proposal.

Likelihood of Happening: Less Likely


3. Second Stimulus Checks: $1,000 check for each adult and child

On Thursday, Senate Republicans, including Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT), proposed the Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act. Under this alternative Republican proposal, second stimulus checks (or Economic Impact Payments) would be a one-time stimulus check and would work like this:

  • Stimulus Check Amount: $1,000 for each individual;
  • Married/Joint Filers: $2,000 for married/joint filers;
  • Dependents: $1,000 for each adult and child (regardless of age or dependent status, which helps high school students, college students and other adult dependents).
  • Income Requirements: If you earned less than $75,000 (individuals) or $150,000 (married/joint filers), you would receive a $1,200 second stimulus check.
  • More Details: Under this proposal, the second stimulus check will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of adjusted gross income above the income limits until $95,000 of adjusted gross income for individuals and $190,000 for married/joint filers.

To qualify, you must have a valid Social Security number. Under this proposal, adults and children — regardless of age or dependent status — each would receive a second stimulus check of $1,000. American citizens who are married to foreign nationals would be eligible to receive a second stimulus check.

Family of Four: A family of four, with married/joint filers, could receive up to $4,000 under this proposal.

Likelihood of Happening: Maybe


4. Second Stimulus Checks: $2,000 a month check + $2,000 for dependents

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, which would give Americans $2,000 a month second stimulus checks. Harris has called repeatedly for a $2,000 a month second stimulus check. Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang also has called for monthly stimulus checks and advocated for universal basic income. Under this proposal, second stimulus checks (or Economic Impact Payments) would be a recurring monthly stimulus check and would work like this:

  • Stimulus Check Amount: $2,000 a month for each individual;
  • Married/Joint Filers: $4,000 for married/joint filers;
  • Dependents: $2,000 for each adult and child (regardless of age, which helps high school students, college students and other adult dependents).
  • Income Requirements: If you earned less than $120,000 of adjusted gross income, you would receive a second stimulus check.
  • More Details: The stimulus payment begins to phase out over $100,000 of adjusted gross income.

Under this proposal, every U.S. resident can receive a second stimulus check, regardless if they file taxes or have a Social Security number.

Family of Four: A family of four, with married/joint filers, could receive up to $10,000 under this proposal.

Likelihood of Happening: Low to zero


Next Steps

Will there be a second stimulus check? Most likely, yes. What’s the amount of the second stimulus check? To be determined. The most likely scenario is up to a $1,200 second stimulus check and up to a $500 stimulus payment for each dependent, which is the same as the first stimulus check. The only exception is that both Republicans and Democrats have agreed in their respective proposals to remove the age cap, so that all dependents can qualify regardless of age. That said, it’s possible that the new proposal for up to a $1,000 second stimulus check gains some traction. Why? Conservative Republicans may like the lower headline amount. Democrats may like that Americans citizens married to foreign nationals would qualify. The sticking point among Republicans keen on limiting federal spending could be the amount of $1,000 for every child, regardless of age or dependent status. President Donald Trump also said this week that it’s possible that second stimulus checks may be higher than $1,200. Congress is expected to approve a stimulus deal this month, although Republicans and Democrats currently have different economic priorities and spending goals.


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