There’s now a new House bill on the table that includes a second payment and cements one big change to eligibility in a stimulus check.
Could I qualify for the second stimulus check?
It’s likely that if a second stimulus check emerges, it’ll follow many of the guidelines from the CARES Act that governed the first check, but draw some changes from the Heroes Act and HEALS Act proposals, neither of which is law, as well as the latest House proposal. The most important decider in setting income limits is adjusted gross income, or AGI, which determines how much of the $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples you could receive if you meet the other requirements.
|Qualifying group||Likely to be covered by the final bill|
|Individuals||An AGI of less than $99,000 (Same as CARES)|
|Head of household||An AGI of less than $146,500 (Same as CARES)|
|Couple filing jointly||An AGI less than $198,000 (Same as CARES)|
|Dependents of any age||As defined by your tax filing (HEALS proposal; and revised Heroes Act)|
|US citizens living abroad||Yes, same as CARES|
|Citizens of US territories||Likely, with payments handled by each territory’s tax authority (CARES)|
|SSDI and tax nonfilers||Likely, but with an extra step to file (more below)|
|Disqualified group||Unlikely to be covered by the final bill|
|Noncitizens who pay taxes||Proposed in Heroes Act, unlikely to pass in Senate|
|Incarcerated people||Excluded under CARES Act|
|People who owe child support||Included in Heroes proposal, but excluded under CARES|
Additional dependents might count toward your family’s total sum
Not enough dependents were eligible for any money at all under the CARES Act, Republicans and Democrats both agree. Dependents aged 16 and younger were allotted $500 as part of the family check, but new proposals from both sides of the aisle want to expand the definition of a dependent to include people regardless of age — that means college students and adult dependents.
The new Democratic proposal (the revised Heroes Act) and the Republican HEALS Act would provide $500 for each dependent you claim on your taxes no matter the age, with no specified cap on the number of dependents. That’s a change from the original Democratic proposal to extend $1,200 each, for up to three dependents, so a family of five people could receive a maximum of $6,000.
An extra step nonfilers might need to take
People who weren’t required to file a federal income tax return in either 2018 or 2019 may still be eligible to receive the first stimulus check under the CARES Act. If that guideline doesn’t change for a second stimulus check, this group would qualify again. Here are reasons you might not have been required to file:
- You’re over 24, not claimed as a dependent and your income is less than $12,200
- You’re married filing jointly and together your income is less than $24,400
- You have no income
- You receive federal benefits, such as Social Security or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). See below for more on SSDI.
With the first stimulus check, nonfilers needed to provide the IRS with some information before they could receive their checks. The IRS is reaching out to 9 million Americans who may fall in this category but have not requested their payment to notify them they may be due a payment.