Coronavirus Stimulus Checks
Source: istock

Why Americans Aren't Getting a Second Stimulus Check


Dec. 7 2020, Published 10:01 a.m. ET

After being in a headlock for months, bipartisan lawmakers have finally agreed on an additional round of COVID-19 relief. However, one thing that the package doesn't include is the second round of stimulus checks.

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Stimulus checks were one of the tools that lawmakers tossed aside when trimming down the relief package. However, that doesn't mean more checks won't come eventually.

Source: Getty Images
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Did the stimulus check pass?

Congressional Democrats have proposed a lofty $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package that seeks to provide aid in a robust fashion. However, that relief solution didn't achieve the bipartisan support it needed to move forward. Instead, a relief bill worth $908 billion is on the table. Supporters hope that it will prevent additional legislative stalling, which damages the economy.  

Even though the second stimulus check wasn't included in the revised relief bill, it does include an additional $300 in federal unemployment benefits.  

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The second stimulus check won't be coming in 2020

President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office as the 46th President of the United States on Jan. 20. Those currently working on the COVID-19 relief bill suggest that Biden can tackle the $1,200 stimulus checks after he's in office. Biden will be up against a new Congress that may or may not support his endeavors. 

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Who receives stimulus checks?

Based on the first round of stimulus checks, Americans below a particular income threshold receive stimulus checks from the U.S. government. 

The checks are based on the 2019 tax filings (or 2018, if the person didn't file a 2019 tax return). An individual had to earn less than $75,000 annual gross income to receive the full amount. Anyone earning more than $99,000 didn't receive a check at all.

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For every dependent you have, you earn an additional $500. Anyone who didn't file a recent tax return doesn't receive a check.

The U.S. government said that it provided checks to people on benefits like social, survivor, disability, and railroad retirement. 

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How to confirm your stimulus check eligibility

If you never received your first stimulus check, it's possible that you aren't eligible for the program. However, you can always visit the Get My Payment tool from the IRS to see if you are still eligible to receive the $1,200 credit (or $2,400 for those who are married and filing jointly) plus $500 for each qualifying child. Some people may receive the original funds with their tax return in 2021. 

The second round of stimulus checks will likely go by the same rules if and when they come. We will have to wait and see for sure. It's possible there will be some altered eligibility requirements or payout practices under the Biden administration.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell down to 6.7 percent in November, but job recovery has slowed dramatically as COVID-19 cases surge throughout the nation. On Dec. 4, the U.S. had more than 220,000 new coronavirus cases. While the country added 638,000 new jobs in October, November saw just 245,000 new jobs.


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