Second stimulus check from the IRS: Could you qualify? Here’s what we know

If the government agrees on a second stimulus check and you met the requirements for the first economic stimulus payment in 2020, you’ll automatically qualify for the new one, right? We hate to pop your bubble, but not so fast.

Lawmakers haven’t decided who would qualify for more stimulus money or how much they would get, though we have a good idea when we think another payment could come. There’s been talk of making more people eligible for an extra round of stimulus funds, but also discussions that could limit future IRS checks to fewer people total, focusing on those who’ve been determined to have the greatest need.

In making these decisions, the Senate and House will factor in economic data that is at best contradictory.

The US economy added 4.8 million jobs in June (PDF), the Labor Department reported last week, as a result of every state reopening in some way. For the week ending June 27, however, first-time unemployment insurance claims were 1.42 million (PDF), marking the 15th straight week in which people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time — a sign that the US labor market is still shedding jobs.

And with coronavirus rates now spiking across the US, governors are shutting businesses they had allowed to open just weeks before, threatening to set back new job gains.

Here, we’ll tell you everything we’ve heard so far about who may or may not be eligible for an extra economic impact payment. The situation and this story update often.

Who gets another stimulus payment? The big picture

We won’t know until another rescue bill is made official, but we can put some pieces together to get a sense of the possibilities. For example, the Heroes Act (PDF) passed by the House of Representatives in May proposes broad financial benefits to individuals, families and categories that were skipped by the first stimulus check (scroll down for the list of exclusions), including most college students and people who aren’t US citizens.

But the Heroes Act has been strenuously opposed by the Senate and President Donald Trump, who called it DOA. On the other end of the spectrum, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that if his chamber passes another relief bill that includes more stimulus checks, the focus will be narrow.

Some suggest that if there is a second stimulus payment, it should be targeted to people in most urgent need. That would mean far fewer people would receive a check or bank account deposit from the IRS.

There aren’t any confirmed details yet. For now, here are some possible scenarios for who may or may not be eligible, drawn from the Heroes Act and comments by White House and Senate leaders. Consider these speculative and not a matter of fact. Here’s additional information about the proposals and how much money you might get.

Who could potentially qualify for a broad second stimulus payment?

  • Individuals who made less than $99,000 according to the adjusted gross income from their 2018 or 2019 taxes (whichever was most recently filed).
  • College students, dependents over 17, disabled relatives and a taxpayer’s parent.
  • Families of up to five people.
  • SSDI recipients
  • People who aren’t US citizens and file tax returns, pay taxes and otherwise comply with federal tax law using an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) instead of a Social Security number.

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