After nearly nine months and seemingly endless negotiations in Washington, millions of Americans could soon get a second stimulus check.
Congressional leaders unveiled a roughly $900 billion stimulus deal on Sunday that calls for another round of direct payments to help Americans get through the coronavirus pandemic.
The $600 checks are half as large as the $1,200 payments lawmakers approved under the CARES Act in late March, but they could give many people a short-term financial lifeline within weeks.
Congress has not yet released the text of the stimulus bill or other key details about the new payments. But here’s what is known about the second round of checks and what the rollout could look like based on how the first ones were distributed.
Who is eligible for another stimulus check?
Similar to the CARES Act, the latest stimulus deal will distribute $600 payments to individual taxpayers earning up to $75,000 a year or married couples with annual incomes up to $150,000.
People with incomes above those limits will receive smaller amounts. It’s not certain how the payments will be phased out under the latest bill, but the CARES Act reduced high earners’ checks by 5 percent of the amount by which their adjusted gross incomes exceeded the initial threshold.
Households will also get $600 for each dependent child, up from $500 under the CARES Act, meaning a family of two adults and two children could get up to $2,400 in stimulus money. But dependents who are 17 or older reportedly won’t qualify for the money.
Lawmakers did agree to a provision that will allow about 1.2 million American citizens who are married to undocumented immigrants to collect the new checks, which the CARES Act prohibited, according to The New York Times.
When will I get my stimulus check?
The timeline for distributing the checks isn’t yet certain because Congress hasn’t actually passed the bill, which lawmakers are expected to vote on Monday. But the money could start moving fast if the CARES Act is any indication.
The Treasury Department began delivering payments to more than 80 million taxpayers in mid-April, roughly two weeks after the CARES Act was passed. In August, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated that the feds would be able to start rolling out new checks the week after Congress passed a bill authorizing them.
“We did it the first time — I can get out 50 million payments really quickly, a lot of it into people’s direct accounts,” Mnuchin told reporters then.
People who submitted their bank account information to the Internal Revenue Service with their 2018 or 2019 income tax returns would likely be first in line because the feds could deposit the checks right into their accounts.
The 14 million people who submitted their banking info to the IRS earlier this year to collect their first stimulus checks may also get their second payments quickly, but the Treasury hasn’t definitively said whether it will reuse banking details it’s already collected, according to CNBC.
The process of rolling out the first stimulus checks was plagued by glitches in the spring, such as payments going into the wrong bank accounts and being delivered to dead people. But one IRS official has said the agency would be “better positioned” to distribute another round of checks than it was in April.
“The infrastructure is already in place to administer such a payment,” Chad Hooper, the president of the Professional Managers Association, which represents IRS managers, told CNBC in August.
With Post wires