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A second stimulus may be coming soon. Here’s what could happen…

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A second stimulus may be coming soon. Here’s what could happen…

By Elyssa Duncan

When the CARES Act was passed in March, it was unexpected that the #Coronavirus pandemic would be affecting the economy four months later. And while the one-time $1,200 stimulus payment was undoubtedly generous, for many it is unlikely that it has covered expenses from the spring through to now.

With the additional $600 Unemployment Insurance boost in its final week and eviction protections for millions of renters expiring, people are relying on Congress to pass new legislation to provide financial assistance. After much back and forth, there are now two significant plans hoping to be passed in the coming weeks to aid Americans.

Current Options Under Review

HEALS Act (Health, Economic Assistance, Liability & Schools) Act

Presented to the Senate on July 27, it is currently being debated, and will need Senate approval before going to the President’s desk for a final signature so it can be enacted into law.

They are key differences and highlights to this new proposal, and the proposed $1.1 trillion stimulus package will provide:

  • One-Time Payment
    Another $1,200 to individuals earning less than $75,000 plus $500 for each dependent child with no age limit. 
    The Senate proposal would exclude those in prison and who recently died from qualifying for a check. The bill would also prohibit creditors and banks from seizing the payment to pay debts. 
  • Enhanced Unemployment
    Initially, $200 per week to last through September 30, 2020, then up to $500 per week to match 70% of lost wages when added to state benefits. It also extends the expiration of federal benefits through to December 31, 2020. 
  • New Hire or Rehire Bonus
    There could be a return-to-work bonus of up to $450 per week for unemployed workers who secure a new job or are rehired.

Some notable differences between the CARES Act and the proposed HEALS Act are the age limit on dependents and assistance provided to non-US citizens who have filed taxes in either 2018 or 2019. Non-citizens must pay taxes and otherwise comply with federal tax law using an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) instead of a Social Security number to qualify for a payment. 

The HEALS Act does not address protections or temporary pauses on evictions, but it does include

  • allocation of $16 billion to COVID-19 testing
  • loosening regulations on big banks and creates tax breaks

HEROES Act

The $3 trillion dollar proposed HEROES Act passed in the House of Representatives in late May, but has not been added to the Senate agenda.

It called for an additional $1,200 payment to individuals, and expanded unemployment benefits, including the $600/week boost, for most workers through January 2021 (for gig workers through March 2021). It is unlikely to be debated in its current form.

Right now, Americans are reliant on a government plan that will help soften the financial stressors. Senators and legislators will need to move quickly—before August 7—the last day before the Senate is set to break for its month-long August recess.

Debates are set to continue this week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), President Donald Trump, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin all said they’re optimistic another bill will be passed in early August, with payments being sent out or deposited by late August.

YOU have a say in this matter, and it is important to contact your local state representatives and elected officials to voice your opinion about crucial stimulus plans.

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What are your thoughts?

Do you think that another one-time payment is enough?

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