CORONAVIRUS

Second stimulus check: who would receive the money first?

After Congress adjourned for recess without striking a deal, It could be another month at least until Americans receive a second $1,200 stimulus payment.

Second stimulus check: who would receive the money first?
BRYAN R. SMITH AFP

US Congress adjourned for the August recess on Monday 10th and now will not return until after Labor Day on 7 September. It means that with no deal on the table for a new Coronavirus relief package, Americans face over a month’s wait for a second $1,200 stimulus check. The earliest that a deal could be struck will be after Congress returns from vacation on 8 September but even then, it's unlikely that anything will happen immediately. The House of Representatives is not due to reconvene for votes until 14 September although members will remain on stand-by to return to Washington at 24-hours’ notice in the remote scenario that a deal on new stimulus legislation is struck. For any new bill to be passed, members are required to cast their vote in person and so would have to be recalled from vacation.

Stumbling blocks

Among the notable stumbling blocks that led talks to stall were enhanced unemployment insurance - Democrats wanted to extend a $600 weekly benefits boost until January, but Republicans proposed significantly lowering this figure - and financial aid for state and local governments. Pelosi and Schumer sought $915bn, a sum Mnuchin and Meadows were not prepared to countenance.

Future payment?

Looking ahead to a potential agreement and subsequent payment, the earliest beneficiaries would see money arriving in accounts would be 23 September. For that to happen, we’d need the Senate to reconvene as planned on 8 September having already come to some sense of a deal in the meantime. The bill could then pass the Senate on 9 September and (based on our experience with the previous checks within the CARES Act) there would be a two-week lag period to the payments being made. Remember too, that this scenario would only apply to those households where the IRS have their bank accounts.

The next group in line for payment would be Social Security beneficiaries who had direct deposit information on file with federal agencies.

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