After weeks of deadlock, the two parties are finally moving closer to a stimulus deal. Some insiders still believe a deal could be reached this week.
Their main areas of disagreement—outside of the total package size—are on items like a steep increase in federal aid to state and local governments, which Democrats support, and COVID-19 lawsuit immunity for businesses, which Republicans support. And Republicans would like to see $400 weekly enhanced unemployment benefits, while Democrats would like it to go back to $600 per week.
All signs point to the stimulus checks being nearly identical to the first round. The direct payment sent in the spring were worth as much as $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples, plus $500 for each qualifying child. That amount would decrease for adjusted gross income above $75,000 per individual or $150,000 per qualified couple. And the checks phase out for individuals earning above $99,000, head of household filers with one child above $146,500, and joint filers with no children at $198,000.
If the last go-around is any indication, the first of the checks would start to be deposited within two weeks of the legislation passing: After the passage of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act on March 27, Americans started to receive their stimulus checks as early as the week of April 13.
But the payments might come faster this time. White House officials have suggested the distribution of the checks could be sped up, given the system is already in place.
Depending on when Congress reaches a deal, it could be too late for the payments to reach households before the election. However, the Republican-controlled U.S. Department of the Treasury could work to speed up that payment.
And direct payments will face fewer roadblocks this time. Back in the spring millions of Americans, including those on Social Security, saw their checks delayed until they provided additional information. Since this payment would use the same tax year, it’s unlikely more information will need to be verified—at least among those who received their first round of payments.
If you have still not received the first stimulus check, you have until October 15, 2020 to claim your money. Contact the IRS for details on how to claim your stimulus money.