Second stimulus check: How much money to expect from another IRS payment

How much money are we really looking at with a second stimulus check?

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The Senate will hash out the contents of another economic relief package when Congress reconvenes on Monday. According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a second economic impact payment will officially be part of the debate.

We now have some idea as to when the Senate will make a decision, but we don’t yet know if another direct payment will be smaller or larger than the the first stimulus check, which provided up to $1,200 for individuals and $6,000 for families who were deemed eligible. 

If the next economic relief package is smaller than the last, it could also be more difficult to qualify for a second stimulus payment, though some leaders (including President Donald Trump) have called for a bigger stimulus check. The total sum of the relief package — and how Congress slices it up — will determine how much money you could receive.

Here’s a status update on everything we’re hearing about a second stimulus payment right now, including the many suggestions that are currently on the table.

How much money a second stimulus check could get you

Washington leaders are talking about these possible stimulus figures for individuals:

As with the first stimulus check, it’s almost certain that Congress will include eligibility restrictions based on how much money you make annually, your age, the number of dependents you have and your US citizenship or residency status.

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A second stimulus check could be smaller

A second stimulus payment won’t be as much as the first, Kudlow said July 10. That aligns with statements from McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, who’s indicated that the next stimulus package will have a $1 trillion cap.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, has made her disagreement clear.

“A trillion dollars is … an interesting starting point, but it doesn’t come anywhere near,” Pelosi said July 9. “We need $1 trillion for state and local [assistance]. We need another $1 trillion for unemployment insurance and direct payments. We need something like that, but probably not as much, for the [coronavirus] testingtracing, treatment,” she said. “What doesn’t measure up is, ‘Oh, it can only be a trillion dollars.””

McConnell had previously stressed that the focus of another bill will be narrow and, if approved, will be the last coronavirus-related rescue package. Republican senators are focused on including incentives to bring people back to work.

The final figure is anything but decided and the tides could turn. For the last two months, proposals have surfaced over how big a second stimulus check should be, ranging from a single $1,200 payment up to $2,000 a month through the end of the pandemic.

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The president said he supports another round of direct payments.

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What do Trump and his administration say about a second stimulus check?

The president has, over the past few weeks, come out as a firm advocate of a second round of direct payment to Americans.

“I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats,” Trump said July 1, referring to the $1,200-per-person amount the Democrat-led House proposed in May. The Washington Post reported in June that the president has told aides he is largely supportive of sending a second round of checks to Americans.

Kudlow echoed the president’s support, telling Fox Business last week, “Direct checks are probably going to be part of it, as far as the president is concerned right now.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also expressed support, telling reporters at a White House briefing, “We’re going to serious[ly] consider whether we’re going to put more payments and direct payments over. It worked very well.”

The Chair of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell made the case for more stimulus money in prepared remarks before the House committee on Financial Services on June 30. “A full [economic] recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to re-engage in a broad range of activities,” Powell said. “The path forward will also depend on the policy actions taken at all levels of government to provide relief and to support the recovery for as long as needed.”


The Senate intends to weigh the benefits of a second check this month.

A onetime, $1,200 payment, but for more people

The House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act on May 15. The bill, which has not passed the Senate and is not law, seeks larger payments for more family members, according to a fact sheet from the House Appropriations Committee (PDF). McConnell has already dismissed the bill, as has the president, who has called it DOA. Here are the broad outlines of the House bill:

  • Individuals: An eligible person could receive up to $1,200.
  • Children and dependents: Each dependent could qualify for a $1,200 payment.
  • Families: Households would qualify for a maximum payment of $6,000 total, capped at five family members at $1,200 apiece.
  • People who aren’t US citizens: Noncitizens who file tax returns, pay taxes and otherwise comply with federal tax law using an individual taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security number would qualify for a payment.

The bill would also extend many federal benefits set to expire this month.

Second stimulus check: What comes next?

The Senate returns to Washington on Monday, July 20, when it will pick up the topic of the next rescue bill and check. The Senate will have three weeks until Aug. 7 to pass another stimulus bill before a month-long recess.

If you’re still waiting for your first stimulus check, here are 10 possible reasons for a delay and what you can do if you think your payment is lost or has fallen through the cracks.

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