coronavirus stimulus check

Second stimulus check: how much money would go to children and how much to adults?

After months of talks Congress is close to passing a new coronavirus financial relief bill. But with Americans struggling to make ends meet as the economy continues to suffer, how much will the average family receive?

Second stimulus check: how much money would go to children and how much to adults?
OLIVIER DOULIERY AFP

Lawmakers have finally come to an agreement on a second round of stimulus checks, this time worth $600 per person, nearly nine months after the first round of direct payments was officially signed into law. Leaders in Congress have been discussing terms of a new covid-19 economic relief bill for months but the Republican-led Senate were unwilling to agree to the $2.2 trillion HEROES Bill that was proposed in the House of Representatives.

Talks appeared in danger of petering out just weeks ago but Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell refused to let the Upper House break for Christmas until this and the federal government funding bill were agreed.

“We can finally report what our nation has needed to hear for a very long time,” said McConnell, on Sunday night. “More help is on the way.”

How much will the new stimulus checks be worth?

The CARES Act was the first large-scale financial support offered to Americans during the pandemic, providing $1,200 Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks) to all eligible adults. It also gave a $500 for each dependent child, aged 17 or under. A number of figures in Congress, most notably Senator Bernie Sanders, argued for the new round of payment to be worth the same but it proved impossible to get through the Senate.

In recent weeks President Donald Trump had been calling for $1,200 or even $2,000 stimulus checks to be included in the bill but he was unable to influence proceedings in Congress. As the two sides drew close on a deal White House aides reportedly had to prevent the President from wading into discussions and potentially scuppering chances of an agreement.

The final amount agreed on is $600 per eligible adult, with a further $600 for each dependent. This means that a family of four can expect to receive $2,400 of direct payment as a result of this bill. While this is a considerable sum it comes after months of inertia in Congress and may not even cover a month’s rent for some Americans.

Who qualifies for the second round of stimulus checks?

It is thought that this package of support will employ the same threshold as the CARES Act. Americans who earn less than $75,000 (or $150,000 for couples who complete their tax filing jointly) will be eligible for the full amount of $600 each. Americans earning over $75,000 will see their check allowance gradually reduced up to $99,000, at which point the support ends.

Although the amount offered to each adult has halved in comparison to the CARE Act, the provision for dependents has actually risen by $100. Also included in the bill is a boost for the pandemic unemployment insurance which was due to expire on the 26 December.

The additional funding will provide an extra $300 of weekly enhanced unemployment benefits for a maximum of 11 weeks per recipient. Again, this represents half of the $600 weekly benefits that were included in the CARES Act.