CORONAVIRUS USA

Second stimulus check: what are differences between the CARES Act and the Heroes Act?

The first round of stimulus checks were sent out under the CARES Act but the Heroes Act modifies the bill in several key ways including for immigrants

Second stimulus check: what are differences between the CARES Act and the Heroes Act?
Andrew Harrer / POOL EFE

The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (Heroes Act) consists of a further $3 trillion in economic aid for hard-pushed American workers. The bill made it through the House of Representatives by 208 votes to 199 on Friday but is expected to face crippling opposition when it reaches the Senate. The White House has already threatened to veto the bill and the Republican-controlled Senate has promised it will be “dead on arrival” when debated.

The CARES Act, signed into law in late March, laid out around $290 billion in economic aid payments to US citizens with adults receiving a check for $1,200 plus $500 for each dependent. However, the $2.2 trillion package approved by the Trump administration made few or no provisions for immigrants and their families. The main difference between Heroes and CARES is that the former addresses these issues quite comprehensively. 

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The first round of stimulus checks have been sent out to American citizens and a second round is in the works. Republicans disagree with Democrats on the nature of what the stimulus checks and relief aid in general should look like as they want to re-open the country to stimulate the economy before more public spending.

The CARES Act saw that Americans received stimulus checks worth $1,200 in April and with that money being spent on groceries, rent and utilities, the US government is being pressured into helping its citizens again. That Trump administration suggested a CARES 2 Act, which is very similar to the original but could see Americans sent $2,000. but the passing of the Heroes Act on 15 May will open up a wider debate. 

The main differences between CARES Act and Heroes Act

The Heroes Act would see Americans who qualify for a stimulus check receive $1,200 ($2,400 in the case of joint return) plus another $1,200 for every other dependent with a maximum of $3,600 and immigrants would retroactively receive the $1,200 payment they were denied under the CARES Act. 

There are no changes to the original act in that people who earn over $75,000 do not make the cut for the maximum amount and it reduces by 5% above the amount of the stimulus check. For example, as explained by Forbes, a person who makes $99,000 and has no children would not receive a stimulus check.

The Heroes Act adjusts the language of the bill to reduce the benefit designed for just that person to $0. Under the Heroes Act, joint filers with just one TIN would receive a $1,200 check from the CARES Act.