Second Stimulus Check FAQs

We know readers have various questions regarding the Second stimulus package by Congress and the $1,200 payments to individuals and increased payment to children. We decided to set up this Second Stimulus Check FAQs page to address the most common questions we get.

First, we will provide an update on where the stimulus negotiations stand.

Next, we will go over the most frequently asked questions about what is included in the package, how much each person will get, and how soon the check will go out.

More questions will be added to this Second Stimulus Check FAQs as and when we hear more.

"Second Stimulus Check FAQs"

Stimulus Check Negotiations Update

The United States House of Representatives passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act in May to stimulate the economy and keep American families afloat.

However, the Senate has pushed back on the price tag.

The Senate decided to go with the HEALS Act (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection, and Schools, which was a $1 trillion package.

Democrats in the Senate helped vote that bill down.

When will Negotiations Resume on Second Stimulus Check?

It depends on the outcome of the election.

If Trump loses the election, he has no particular incentive to work hard on a deal during a lame-duck session of Congress and no leverage in negotiations.

In addition, Speaker Pelosi has every reason to wait for a new Biden administration in January and move legislation then.

It is possible that the new bill becomes law in the period after the Nov. 3 election and before or after Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.

Second Stimulus Check FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked second stimulus check questions.

What’s Included in the Second Stimulus Package?

According to a summary by Forbes, here’s what’s included in the Second Stimulus Package.

There are several bills offering a second stimulus check pending in the House and the Senate:

The Heroes Act (a bill passed by House Democrats in May)

  • $1,200 for single tax filers
  • $2,400 for joint tax filers
  • $1,200 for each dependent, regardless of age
  • Income limitations on eligibility

The HEALS Act (a bill introduced by Senate Republicans in July)

  • $1,200 for single tax filers
  • $2,400 for joint tax filers
  • $500 for each dependent, regardless of age
  • Income limitations on eligibility

Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act (introduced by four Republican Senators in July)

  • $1,000 for single tax filers
  • $2,000 for joint tax filers
  • $1,000 for each dependent, regardless of age
  • Income limitations on eligibility

Who is Eligible for Second Stimulus Check?

If you received a stimulus, you will almost certainly qualify for this round. Those who can count on another check include:

  • Social Security recipients (including retirement, survivor, and disability)
  • Railroad Retirement benefit recipients
  • VA Compensation and Pension (C&P) recipients who do not file a tax return
  • Legal immigrants with Social Security numbers and “substantial presence” in the United States, including lawful permanent residents and others with specific visa types
  • Americans citizens below the maximum income guidelines

According to this table below compiled by CNET, the following groups of people could qualify for the second stimulus check:

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 No limit (HEALS proposal; up to 3 in Heroes)
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
Uncertain status Could be set by court ruling or bill
Incarcerated people Excluded under CARES Act through IRS interpretation, judge overturned
Undocumented immigrants Qualifying “alien residents” are currently included under CARES
Disqualified group Unlikely to be covered by the final bill
Noncitizens who pay taxes Proposed in Heroes Act, unlikely to pass in Senate
People who owe child support Included in Heroes proposal, but excluded under CARES

When will the second stimulus check go out?

Here’s how the process is going to work:

First, a bill must be agreed upon by Congress and the President and signed into law.

Once a bill is signed into law, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said he can get stimulus checks out soon.

It is estimated it would take two weeks from the time of approval for the first checks to start being deposited.

After the $2.2 trillion CARES Act was passed at the end of March, some Americans received their stimulus checks as early as the week of April 13.

Here’s an estimate of how the stimulus checks could go out and what you can expect depending on how it’s sent to you.

Direct deposit recipients

Those who already have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS should be first in line to receive a stimulus check.

Social Security, SSI, and SSDI recipients

Just like the first stimulus check, many Social Security and disability beneficiaries received payments in the first week.

That was true for those who had direct deposit information on file with the federal government or had Direct Express debit cards.

People who get paper checks

The IRS began to mail checks about a week later to those without direct deposit information on file.

EIP card recipients

Economic Impact Payment debit cards are prepaid Visa cards the IRS sent to about 4 million people starting in mid-May.

This group could begin to see their checks weeks after the first direct deposit transfers go out.

All Others

If you are still waiting to receive your first stimulus payment, learn about what to do here to get your check.

You may have to wait longer to receive your second check if you have not collected your first check by the time the second payments go out.

Can the President authorize a second round of stimulus checks by executive order?

No. The President cannot authorize a second stimulus package through executive order.

Due to the checks and balances in the constitution, that function is reserved for Congress. These checks and balances include who controls the purse strings in Washington.

Therefore Congress and specifically the House of Representatives have the power to tax and spend public money.

I did not get the First Stimulus Check. What can I do?

If you did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you might still qualify for the first stimulus check.

You might be one of the nine million people getting a letter from the IRS letting you know how to register on their website to claim your payment.

However, you must act fast. The new deadline for filing is November 21, 2020.

Click here to learn more about how to register with the IRS and claim your first stimulus payment.

Will Children get a Second Stimulus Check?

The first stimulus check was less generous families with children.

Under CARES, eligible families got $500 for each child.

However, it only applied to kids who hadn’t yet turned 17.

Under the second stimulus package being negotiated, each dependent will get $1,200, regardless of age.

Will College Students Qualify for Second Stimulus Check?

Yes. Under the HEROES Act, college students who are claimed as dependents on their parents’ taxes would qualify for a $1,200 payment.

That’s more generous than the first stimulus round, which excluded adults claimed as dependents on other taxpayers’ returns.

Will Americans Married to Immigrants Get a Second Stimulus?

Unlike under CARES, the HEROES Act would provide a stimulus check to American citizens who are married to immigrants without a Social Security number.

In the first round of stimulus, this group of people was blocked from receiving the payments.

That’s because CARES required both spouses to have Social Security numbers.

However, the HEROES directs payments to tax filers with a valid tax ID number, rather than a Social Security number.

As a result, more resident aliens may qualify for the payments.

 

Second Stimulus Check FAQs Summary

We hope this post on the second stimulus check FAQs was helpful.

If you have further questions about Stimulus checks, Social Security, or Disability benefits, please let us know in the comments section below.

Be sure to check out our other articles on Social Security and Direct Express, including Social Security Stimulus Check Update, Direct Express Stimulus Check and Top Questions and Answers on Direct Express.