Stimulus check requirements: Who qualifies for new $1,200 payment? What we know right now


The proposals for who may or may not qualify for a second stimulus check are coming into focus.


Angela Lang/CNET

Washington lawmakers have until August 7, a deadline imposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to reach a deal on another stimulus package. But, aside from agreeing on sending another $1,200 check to eligible individuals, Republican and Democratic leaders are still currently $2 trillion apart in their proposals, which are known as the HEALS Act and Heroes Act, respectively.

The Republican-backed HEALS Act and the Democratic Heroes Act plans largely follow the monetary guidelines of first stimulus check, which sent up to $1,200 and $500 for dependents, but far more people would qualify for payments in the Democratic plan. While the HEALS Act makes a few adjustments to who would qualify to receive payment, we don’t know how the GOP proposal could change before it eventually becomes law. 

When the IRS will send a second stimulus payment and who would qualify to receive money are two key questions for many Americans. Let’s examine who would qualify for a second stimulus payment based on citizenship, age, annual taxable income, marital status and the number of claimed dependents. 

Updated regularly with new information.

Who would get a second stimulus check under the HEALS Act?

The Senate Republicans’ HEALS Act would follow the payment guidelines set out in the CARES Act, with a new adjustment for dependents. 

“[The bill] includes just a few people that were unintentionally left out of the last one. Mostly dependents, college and adults, that are somebody else’s dependents,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday.

Here’s who would qualify for a HEALS Act payment:

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

In the CARES Act, the cutoff to receive a $500 dependent check was age 16 and younger and college students under 24 were not eligible to receive a check. 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.

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Who would qualify for a second stimulus check under the Democrats’ plan?

The broadest eligibility parameters suggested so far come from the Heroes Act, which was proposed by the House of Representatives on May 15. Although it has been fiercely opposed by Senate Republicans and President Donald Trump, we can look to this bill to help frame the conversation about the upper limits of who might qualify for 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.
  • SSDI recipients.
  • People who aren’t US citizens and 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 may soon become clear who can qualify for another stimulus check.


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Who didn’t receive a first stimulus check with the CARES Act?

These groups did not meet the requirements for the first payment:

  • 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 we know the eligibility requirements?

While the two sides are now debating the details of the new stimulus package, they are far apart from reaching agreement. To give negotiators more time to reach a deal, McConnell could push back the start of upcoming Senate recess, which he has done before. After the sides 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 what Congress’ deadline is and when a check could be sent

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.





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