This Second Stimulus Check Would Pay The Most

This second stimulus check proposal would pay the most.

Here’s what you need to know.

Second Stimulus Checks

As Congress weighs a second round of stimulus checks in the next stimulus, Congress appears focused on a one-time, $1,200 second stimulus check. The $1,200 second stimulus check is included in the the Heals Act (Health, Economic Assistance Liability Protection & Schools Act), a ~$1 trillion stimulus package that Senate Republicans, under the leadership of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), proposed in July. However, there is also a new proposal: a $1,000 one-time second stimulus check. 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, which would provide a second stimulus check, or Economic Impact Payment, of $1,000. These are not the only second stimulus check proposals. For example, President Donald Trump said that it’s possible that second stimulus checks may be higher than $1,200. There is also a Senate proposal for a $2,000 a month second stimulus check, although the Senate won’t support this plan in the next stimulus. At first glance, a $1,200 second stimulus check seems financially superior to a $1,000 second stimulus check. However, it’s important to understand the details to determine how much you can get with a second stimulus check.


How much is the second stimulus check?

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Many Americans are asking: How much is the second stimulus check? The better question is “How much will I get with the second stimulus check?” The headline amount is one thing; how much you and your family will receive is another. First, it’s important to note that while a second stimulus check is likely, it’s not guaranteed. Second, Congress has not reached an agreement on a second stimulus check, including the requirements. Third, while Congress is leaning toward a $1,200 second stimulus check, Congress has not determined the amount of a potential second stimulus check. Importantly, the total amount you can receive in these two proposals is different, particularly if you have dependents.


Which second stimulus check is more?

Which second stimulus check is more? In both the Heals Act ($1,200 second stimulus check) and Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act ($1,000 second stimulus check), the current eligibility requirements are the same as the Cares Act, which is the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that included the first stimulus check. To receive the full amount of a second stimulus check, under both these proposals, your adjusted gross income must be no more than $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married/joint filers. The stimulus check amount would be reduced by $5 for every additional $100 of adjusted gross income above this threshold. If you earn more than $99,000 (individuals) or $198,000 (married/joint filers), you would not be eligible for a second stimulus check under these proposals. There seems to be bi-partisan support for these income thresholds, so it’s unlikely that Congress would change these requirements. Let’s compare each plan:


$1,200 second stimulus check

Let’s assume that you are an individual with no more than $75,000 of adjusted gross income or a married/joint filer with no more than $150,000 of adjusted gross income. If you are an individual or married/joint filer, the $1,200 second stimulus check would provide you more money than the $1,000 second stimulus check proposal. Why? Under the $1,200 stimulus check plan, individuals would receive $1,200, while married/joint filers would receive $2,400. If you have dependents, however, here’s how the $1,200 stimulus check proposal would work:

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

  • Married/Joint Filer: $2,400
  • Dependent #1: $500
  • Dependent #2: $500
  • Total: $3,400

Importantly, many Democrats support a $1,200 dependent payment, rather than the $500 dependent payment in the Heals Act. For example, House Democrats passed the Heroes Act, which included a second stimulus check of $1,200 and a dependent payment of $1,200. While it’s less likely that the Republican-led Senate will agree to a $1,200 dependent stimulus payment, a family of four would receive $4,800, or $1,400 more, under the House Democrats’ stimulus plan. That said, the Senate won’t pass the Heroes Act in its current form.


$1,000 second stimulus check

Let’s also assume that you are an individual with no more than $75,000 of adjusted gross income or a married/joint filer with no more than $150,000 of adjusted gross income. Individuals would receive $1,200, while married/joint filers would receive $2,400. If you have dependents, however, here’s how the $1,000 stimulus check proposal would work:

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

  • Married/Joint Filer: $2,000
  • Dependent #1: $1,000
  • Dependent #2: $1,000
  • Total: $4,000

If you have dependents, the $1,000 second stimulus check would provide $600 more to a family of four than the Republican second stimulus check in the Heals Act. Under this proposal, adults and children with a valid Social Security Number — regardless of age or dependent status — each would receive a second stimulus check of $1,000. American citizens who are married to foreign nationals also would be eligible to receive a second stimulus check. Like the $1,200 second stimulus check proposal, the $1,000 second stimulus check proposal has no age cap for dependents, which means that all high school students, college students and other adult dependents would not be excluded from a second stimulus check or dependent payment on the basis of age alone.


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