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Stimulus check requirements: How your eligibility may change with a new relief bill – CNET

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The final proposal for qualifications to get a second stimulus check is coming into focus.
Sarah Tew/CNET

With talks on another rescue package at a standstill and the Senate on break till after Labor Day, the question is, will White House and Democratic negotiators eventually agree on another rescue package in 2020 and will it still include a second stimulus check this year? While we can’t foresee the future, we can paint a picture of who would qualify for a new payment if a stimulus bill passes.

First, let’s square off on a future stimulus check. Weekly unemployment claims have hovered around 1 million since March, causing both Democrats and Republicans to see the need for additional aid.

“Americans need more help,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Thursday. The executive actions signed by President Donald Trump leave plenty of room for the negotiators to reach agreement on other issues beyond a second payment. And with both sides signaling they’re open to resuming negotiations, we think negotiations will resume.

If a deal to pass a bill is sealed, it’s possible that who qualifies will change and that could be a chance for families to get more stimulus money as a whole. Will you be eligible? Read on to learn everything we know right now about what will happen if a final bill is passed. This story updates often as the situation develops.

Who could get a stimulus check if the HEALS Act is passed?

While talks on a new bill are currently stalled, the Republicans are using their HEALS Act as the starting point for negotiations. If the part of the HEALS Act that deals with a second economic payment becomes law, it would largely replicate the payment eligibility set out in the earlier CARES Act, with a new allowance for dependents:

  • A single US resident with an adjusted gross income, or AGI, less than $99,000
  • A head of a household earning under $146,500
  • A couple filing jointly without children and earning less than $198,000
  • A dependent of any age

Under the CARES Act, the cutoff to receive a $500 dependent check was age 16 and younger; college students under 24 years old weren’t eligible to receive a check. The Republican proposal would exclude people in prison and people who recently died from qualifying for a check. The bill would also prohibit creditors and banks from seizing the payment to pay debts.

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Stimulus standoff on Capitol Hill

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What are the Heroes Act’s requirements for a stimulus check?

The Democratic negotiators are using the Heroes Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives on May 15, as their basis for negotiations. Although Senate Republicans and the president oppose the plan, we can look to this bill to see the Democratic position on the upper limits of who might qualify in a broad proposal:

  • 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 taxpayers’ parents
  • Families of up to five people, for a cap of $6,000 per family
  • SSDI recipients
  • People who aren’t US citizens but do file tax returns, pay taxes and otherwise comply with federal tax law using an individual taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security number
$20 bills and credit cards in a wallet
It could soon become clear who will qualify for another stimulus check.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Here’s who didn’t get a stimulus check under the CARES Act

For the payments authorized under the CARES Act, which became law in March, these groups were excluded from receiving the first check:

  • Single taxpayers with an adjusted gross income above $99,000
  • Heads of households with an AGI over $136,500
  • Married couples with an AGI over $198,000
  • Children over 16 and college students under age 24
  • Nonresident aliens, as defined by the US government

When will Congress reach an agreement on the eligibility requirements?

Right now, the timeline for discussions remains up in the air. Talks between Republican and Democratic negotiators on the new stimulus package have stalled, but the two sides have signaled they are willing to pick up the debate. With the Senate on break till after Labor Day, the chances of a deal in August are looking unlikely, with an agreement in September now in the picture. After the sides do reach an agreement, the stimulus bill won’t take effect until the president signs it into law.

And while we won’t know for sure until the two sides come together on the next stimulus package, we have a good idea when a check could be sent, if a new bill passes.

For more, here’s what we know about the major proposals for a second stimulus package. We also have information on unemployment insurance, what you can do if you’ve lost your job, if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS and what to know about evictions.

Shelby Brown contributed to this report.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

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