CORONAVIRUS

What are the differences between the second and first stimulus check?

After the CARES Act was introduced in March this year, a new HEALS Act has been proposed by the Republican party as an effort to boost the hard-hit American economy.

What are the differences between the second and first stimulus check?
Scott Heins AFP

The very first stimulus checks were paid into people's bank accounts over the weekend of the 11 and 12 of April, giving a lag time of about two weeks for the first payments after the CARES Act was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020.

The first recipients to secure the stimulus payments, directly into their bank accounts, were taxpayers who had filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return as the CARES Act delivered Economic Impact Payments to American households of up to $1,200 per adult for individuals whose income was less than $99,000 ( or $198,000 for joint filers) and $500 per child under 17 years old –

HEALS Act

Last Monday (28 July) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell presented the Republicans stimulus proposal, which was presented in the Senate in the afternoon session. The legislation was named the HEALS Act and called for $1 trillion of new funding to help fight the economic effects of Covid-19.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader McConnell waits for a subway car in the U.S. Capitol in WashingtonU.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell waits for a subway car in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. July 29, 2020. REUTERS/Erin Scott

In his presentation speech, McConnell announced that there will be another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for individuals,The CARES Act only allowed for $500 stimulus checks for dependents under the age of 18.

The same income criteria for the stimulus checks will be in place as was for the CARES Act ($1,200 per adult with adjusted gross income up to $75,000, tapering down to zero above $99,000. For married couples filing jointly the threshold is $150,000 tapering down to $198,000.)

The first stimulus check left out child dependents who were 17 years or older and university students under the age of 24. The Republican plan would include $500 for child dependents irrespective of their age. 

The HEALS Act proposal will now be debated in the US Senate and could be approved and signed as early as August because the goal is to approve the next stimulus package on or before 8 August when Congress goes on summer recess not returning to Washington until 8 September.