Second Stimulus Check: What You Need to Know

Posted by Frank Gogol

On June 25, 2020, President Trump announced a second round of stimulus checks will be coming to aid the struggling American economy. Even though the U.S. unemployment rate is declining, many families still find themselves in a financial crisis, unable to pay rent and cover basic necessities. 

President Trump promised the second round of stimulus checks in August. Up to now, there has been lots of talk about it. But for most who don’t follow the detail of the politics and legalities, there isn’t real clarity yet. When exactly will the checks be coming? How much will each family receive? And if you are an immigrant, are you entitled to the second stimulus check? 

The payment of a second stimulus check will be included in the new bill regulating the entire stimulus package. The bill is currently being hashed out and will have to be passed by Congress and signed by the President. 

Fortunately, negotiations have progressed to such a stage that we can see overlapping ideas from both Democrats and Republicans and get an idea of what to expect. If you want more details, take a look below.

What’s the Status of the Second Coronavirus Stimulus Package?

We all know there is a lot of talk around the second stimulus package and definitely a lot of politics. But what exactly is going on? 

Negotiations are Ongoing

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are in continuous negotiations about the ins and outs of the second stimulus package. Democrats are pushing for a $2.2 trillion package while Republicans want to keep it limited. 

On October 9, 2020, the White House offered $1.8 trillion towards the second batch of stimulus checks. According to Pelosi, the $1.8 trillion package offered by the White House is “wholly insufficient” for what needs to be achieved. 

The White House also suggests using money that is left over from the CARES Act to provide additional (and perhaps more immediate) aid. 

Basically, they are at loggerheads trying to settle on the detail of the second stimulus package. 

Republicans and Democrats Have Different Priorities

Even though both Republicans and Democrats want the stimulus check to be paid, there is still quite a large debate around how the second stimulus check should look and the detail around it. 

Contrary to President Trump’s initial resistance, Trump is now backing a revised stimulus package

Initially, Trump wanted a more limited series of separate measures to be taken. He wanted stimulus checks, but also $25 billion to aid airlines and $135 billion in loans for small businesses.  

Pelosi scoffed at this. Democrats are pushing for a broader $2.2 trillion package. 

At first, Trump instructed his representatives to stop negotiations, as they believed Pelosi wasn’t negotiating in good faith. But, only hours later, he again urged Congress to pass more COVID-19 relief. Still, Trump only wants smaller relief bills. 

Fortunately, one thing we do know is U.S. leaders want to and plan to pay a second stimulus check. 

How Much Will the Second Stimulus Check Be?

Generally, everyone is expecting the second round of stimulus checks to follow similar guidelines as the first. But some requirements may be subject to change. For example, there is an approach that may redefine who counts as a qualifying dependent. This could give families $500 for each dependent identified in tax filings, regardless of their age. 

At the moment, however, the proposal from the White House offers $1000 payment to be made per child dependent. There is also a cap of $1200 per person expected to apply. But not everyone will qualify for the full $1200. 

You can check out a stimulus check calculator to give you an estimate of the amount to be paid to your family in the second round. 

The specific rules are yet to be finalized. So, the final conclusion on how much the second stimulus check will be must still be determined. What we do know for sure is your stimulus check will not be taxed. What is paid out is what you will be able to pocket. 

How Quickly Will Second Stimulus Checks Be Sent Out?

Fortunately, the IRS has already gone through the growing pains of delivering the first round of stimulus checks. The systems and infrastructure are in place, and the tracking tool is up and running. So technically, they should be able to deliver the second round much faster than the first. 

Unfortunately, the dates and timelines for the second stimulus check payments aren’t clear yet. The timeline is firstly dependent on when the negotiations around the rules come to an end, and when the bill is passed. Secondly, payment will depend on what the rules say. 

You can also expect there to be different priority groups, which you can about more here.

Will Immigrants Get a Second Stimulus Check?

Unfortunately, one of the biggest controversies surrounding the government’s choices during the COVID-19 pandemic is how the government has handled immigration and immigrant communities. 

Trump has used COVID-19 to leverage his anti-immigration position and reduce the number of immigrants entering the country. In an attempt to reduce illegal immigration, the government also wants to sanction immigrants in the U.S. that doesn’t have legal documentation. 

For example, during the first round of stimulus checks, President Trump stated undocumented immigrants shouldn’t receive any public benefit or government aid.

Here are some specific examples of the measures President Trump requested to be taken against undocumented immigrants: 

  • Undocumented immigrants shouldn’t have the opportunity to receive stimulus checks even if they pay mandatory annual taxes.
  • American citizens married to undocumented immigrants shouldn’t receive stimulus checks. 
  • Even minors coming from mixed families (one U.S. citizen parent and one undocumented immigrant parent) or with both undocumented parents shouldn’t receive aid. This should apply irrespective of whether the child was born in the U.S. and is a legal U.S. citizen. 

The good news is, these are only recommendations made by Trump. Each local government of each state can direct how stimulus checks should be paid. For example, California has chosen to aid undocumented immigrants.  

Basically, there is no guarantee or certainty whether immigrants will be entitled to receive a second stimulus check. This will be wholly dependent on the rules implemented by the government on a federal and state level. 

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Many families are in desperate need of a second stimulus check. Immigrant families aren’t an exception. We can only hope the Republicans and Democrats put their differences aside soon and get the second round of stimulus checks going.

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