Good news folks, the second round of stimulus payments are coming our way thanks to the $900 billion economic relief package that Congressional leaders agreed to on December 20th. Congressional leaders and lawmakers are expected to vote Monday on a deal, which would provide $600 stimulus checks, but according to experts, it will take at least two weeks for the treasury to get cash into people’s bank accounts by direct deposit or by paper check after legislation is signed. According to Howard Gleckman, Senior Fellow at the Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center, “The timing could be more challenging this time, but the IRS could likely begin to get the money out in January.”
Back in March Congress provided US citizens with direct payments of $1,200 and couples with $2,400, plus $500 per child under the $2 trillion CARES Act. The payments started spacing out for single individuals who earned more than $75,000 a year and those who earned more than $99,000 didn’t receive anything. The income threshold was doubled for couples.
Who Will Get a Second Stimulus Check?
Just like the first round, the second round of stimulus checks will only be sent out to people below a certain income level. According to reports, the payment would start phasing out for individual taxpayers earning up to $75,000, which is similar to the first stimulus package payment. Married couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $1,200, half of the amount paid out through the CARES act last year. For the first stimulus check, it took two weeks after the bill was passed for the IRS to distribute the money, but according to CNN some eligible recipients still haven’t received it, despite it being months later. People who submitted their bank account information to the IRS with their 2018 or 2019 income tax returns are likely to be first in line because money could be deposit right into their bank accounts.
This time around, dependent children will receive the same $600 checks as adults, up from the $500 checks that children received in the spring. The $900 billion COVID-19 relief package is said to “provide support for the economy through March. The bill is expected to see passage early this week, pending any final legislative hurdles.” according to analysts Raymond James. New York Democrat and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer described the bill as “just a first step.” He added, “This is an emergency, we need a second bill to continue dealing with the emergency and to start stimulating our economy so we get back to where we were and that will be job number one in the new Biden administration.”
Aside from the $600 stimulus checks, the second stimulus Bill also includes an extra $300 a week in Unemployment Aid. This means that people who are not employed will receive the regular State Unemployment Payment by the federal government, plus another $300 on top of that through March 14th, 2021. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistant Program, PUA, which covers self-employed workers and gig workers, will also be extended as well as the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, PEUC, which provides additional weeks of jobless aid to people who have run out of their regular State Unemployment Benefits. Lawmakers also agree to a provision that will allow roughly 1.2 million American citizens married to undocumented immigrants to collect their checks.
The Paycheck Protection Program It’s also said to be extended with another $284 billion of forgivable loans. Some of this funding will be set aside for small businesses through lenders such as the Minority Depository Institution, which followed criticism that the first round of PPP loans overlooked minority and women-owned businesses. The PPP Program is also said to expand eligibility for several nonprofits, local radio broadcasters, TV, and newspapers. Lawmakers also voted for $20 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Loans to be set aside for businesses in low-income communities, and $15 billion set to be directed towards live venues, cultural institutions, and independent movie theaters that have been forced to shut down or cut back on their operations due to the pandemic.