A second, smaller round of stimulus checks are due to most Americans after President Trump signed off on a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill last weekend.
This round will be $600 -- compared to $1,200 earlier this year. A bill passed by the House on Monday could increase the payments to $2,000, but appears to have fizzled in the GOP-led Senate. If it were to pass, it would be added on top of the $600 payment, as a separate payment. (You’d get another payment of $1,400). Here’s what we know about the coming payments:
Who is eligible for the $600 checks?
You need a Social Security number to qualify for a relief check. Individuals earning up to $75,000, and couples earning up to $150,000 will receive the full amount. After that, the amount of the check then decreases by $5 for every $100 of income above those thresholds, phasing out completely at $87,000 for individuals and $174,000 for couples.
Income is based on 2019 tax returns.
Dependents under age 17 are also eligible for $600 checks, and there’s no cap on the number a household can receive. So if a single person earned $50,000 in 2019 and has four children under 17, the individual will be eligible for a $3,000 payment.
The biggest eligibility change involves households where one or more people has a Social Security number while another member or members do not. In the CARES Act, such households were entirely barred from receiving payments. Now, payments will be sent to every eligible member of such households — those with Social Security numbers.
When will you receive stimulus payments?
There is no exact date, just like the previous round, but it should be quicker than the first round because the IRS is set up to make payments now.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday that Americans could begin seeing payments as early as Tuesday night through direct deposit, with paper checks being mailed out as soon as Wednesday.
.@USTreasury has delivered a payment file to the @FederalReserve for Americans’ Economic Impact Payments. These payments may begin to arrive in some accounts by direct deposit as early as tonight and will continue into next week (1/2)— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) December 29, 2020
Paper checks will begin to be mailed tomorrow. Later this week, you can check the status of your payment at https://t.co/pFBzGzK8mD. (2/2)— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) December 29, 2020
If you received a direct deposit payment the first time around, it’ll be quicker -- and you’ll be first in line to get the check.
“This second round of payments will be distributed automatically, with no action required for eligible individuals. If additional legislation is enacted to provide for an increased amount, Economic Impact Payments that have been issued will be topped up as quickly as possible.”
Unemployment payments delayed
The additional $300 weekly unemployment payments for residents who qualify for COVID-19 relief will be delayed in Michigan, officials said.
Congress passed a COVID-19 relief package that extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation federal unemployment programs.
“This federal extension will bring much needed relief to nearly 700,000 Michigan workers who are currently receiving benefits under the PUA and PEUC programs,” said Liza Estlund Olson, acting director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency. “The continuation of these benefits coupled with the additional $300 in weekly payments for all claimants will provide our workers with the emergency financial assistance to buy essential items like groceries and prescription drugs.”
The programs, which will provide an extra $300 per week for anyone receiving unemployment benefits, have been extended through March 14, officials announced.
According to a release posted on the state website, Michigan and all other states must wait until guidance is issued from the Department of Labor before the provisions in the act can be implemented.
“Due to the timing of the legislation’s finalization, there will be a delay in certification and payment of benefits for those currently enrolled in the federal PUA and PEUC programs beginning Dec. 26,” a release says. “This will only be a disruption and claimants will be made whole once the extensions are fully implemented.”
Guidance from the Department of Labor will lay out new rules that have to be interpreted and reviewed in Michigan, officials said.
“We will have to make updates to our systems to extend benefits and renew the FPUC $300 supplemental payments,” the release says. “Please continue to check the UIA website as we will provide more information as it becomes available. There is no need to contact UIA customer service number regarding the new legislation.”