Wondering where your next stimulus check is hiding? Excellent question! It is currently in legislative purgatory between the House and the Senate. The House passed the latest bill for coronavirus relief last weekend; the Senate is expected to vote soon on its own version of the bill, possibly this week. That vote-a-rama will be quite a show: Republicans will feed the Senate amendments for endless hours, aiming to reveal splits among Democrats on key issues, as well as create content for future political ads. The main battlefields will be topics such as raising the federal minimum wage to $15.
The good news is, Congress has all but signed off on this third round of stimulus checks, which have bipartisan support. But this time around, the eligibility requirements are a little different than they were with the previous payments. Some new groups get to join in on the windfall, while others will miss out. Here’s what we know so far:
- Dependents aged 17-24, including college students: Previous stimulus checks only paid for dependents up to age 16, and the amounts were $500-$600. This time, each dependent check will be $1,400.
- Other dependents: The earlier stimulus checks did not include dependents of all ages; this time the checks will include $1,400 each for dependents of any age (which includes permanently disabled dependents) so long as guardians earn less than the income limits.
- Mixed-status households: As of this writing, households where at least one member has a Social Security number will receive a check, an expansion from the last round. This will shoehorn in families in which children are citizens and parents are not.
- Individuals who earn over $80,000, and couples who earn over $160,000: In a late-breaking compromise (leaked to multiple news outlets but not yet confirmed) with conservative Democrats today, the final Senate bill will have lower income caps—the lowest of the three stimulus checks so far, down $20,000 per individual from the last round, cutting out an estimated 9 million households. Earners above these income levels will not receive checks at all.
Note that any of these details could change in the final Senate bill. We’ll keep you updated with the latest information as it breaks.