Now that Congress has passed a second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks, many Americans are wondering whether they qualify.
As with the first round of checks, there are income limits. You can see them later in this article. In addition, there’s an age limit on which dependents will qualify for the checks, which will leave some college students out in the cold again if they are declared on their parents’ tax returns.
There’s another wrinkle. President Donald Trump, in a video posted to Twitter, called on Congress to increase the checks to $2,000. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly threw her support to the plan, tweeting, “Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000 — Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let’s do it!”
“Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and foreign interests while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It wasn’t their fault; it was China’s fault,” said Trump in a video he posted on Twitter.
However, Republicans are poised to block an attempt to pass the increase by unanimous consent, which would keep the amount at $600.
Here’s what you need to know:
There Are Income Limits for the Second Round of Checks
According to CNBC, here are the qualification guidelines for who would get a second check:
To get the full $600 amount, a person can’t earn more than $75,000 in 2019 or $150,000 for couples. People earning up to $87,000 and couples earning up to $174,000 would get a stimulus check. However, they wouldn’t get the full amount.
Taxpayers will get $600 for each dependent but only those under age 17.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, has a FAQ about the checks on his website. Under the question of whether you will get a check, he wrote, “That depends. You need to (1) meet the income eligibility and (2) file a tax return, even if you don’t owe.”
He added, “A single filer who is eligible for the full amount will receive $1,200. Joint filers eligible for the full amount will receive $2,400. If you have children, you will also receive $500 per child. So as an example, a family of four eligible for the full amount will receive $3,400. ($2,400 + $500 x 2 kids.)”
Furthermore, wrote Brown, “The rebate amount starts phasing out at $75,000 for a single filer and $150,000 for joint filers. Filers who are under this amount will receive the full rebate. Single filers with an income between $75,000 and $99,000 will receive a partial rebate. Single filers over $99,000 will not receive a rebate. Joint filers with an income between $150,000 and $198,000 will receive a partial rebate. Joint filers with an income over $198,000 will not receive a rebate.”
How can you get your check?
“If you filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019, or you receive Social Security benefits, you will receive the rebate automatically. If you provided bank account information to receive your tax refund as a direct deposit, you will receive your rebate that way,” Brown explained. “If you did not provide information for direct deposit, you will be mailed a rebate check to the address provided on your 2018 or 2019 tax return, whichever you filed most recent. If you did not file in 2018 or 2019 but you receive Social Security benefits, you will receive the rebate the same way you receive your Social Security benefit.”
Trump Called the $600 Stimulus Checks ‘Ridiculously Low’
Statement by Donald J. Trump, The President of the United States
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2020
Trump demanded that the stimulus checks be increased. “I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple,” Trump said. “I am also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the unnecessary and wasteful items in this legislation.”
The president declared that he was asking Congress “to send me a suitable bill or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package and maybe that administration will be me, and we will get it done.”
Throughout the summer, Trump said, “Democrats cruelly blocked COVID relief legislation in an effort to advance their extreme left wing agenda and influence the election. Then a few months ago Congress started negotiations on a new package to get urgently needed help to the American people. It’s taken forever. However the bill they are now planning to send back to my desk is much different than inticipated. It really is a disgrace.”
In the video, Trump listed aid to foreign governments among other items and claimed those items are in the COVID-19 relief bill. However, according to Politifact, the COVID-19 relief bill did not include the aid to foreign governments; those items were passed at the same time but as part of a separate omnibus spending bill.
In the video, Trump said there are more than 5,000 pages in this bill and “no one in Congress has read” it “because of its length and complexity. It’s called the COVID relief bill, but this bill has nothing to do with COVID.”
Trump claims the bill “allows stimulus checks for the family members of illegal aliens at $1,800 each. This is far more than the Americans are given.”
He said that “despite all of this wasteful spending and much more, the $900 billion provides hard working taxpayers with only 600 each.” He said the bill doesn’t give enough money to small businesses, especially restaurants.