Second stimulus check: How the next payment could bring you more money than before


While we can’t say for sure if a second stimulus check will be part of the next COVID-19 relief bill — and here’s what happens if it isn’t — we know that if it is, there are several ways you could actually see more money with your next check than you did with the first.

Just like with the first round, any future second round of stimulus checks is expected to cap out at $1,200 per qualified adult, but changes to the eligibility rules could lead to a larger second check for some people compared to their first check. Several failed proposals have tried to expand or decrease eligibility for some groups. That means if you didn’t get a check the first time you might be eligible to claim part or all of a second check. You also could receive more money for dependents or if there have been changes to your personal circumstances.

It’s now been eight months now since Congress authorized the first round of stimulus checks, and with COVID-19 cases, joblessness (PDF) and food insecurity all surging in the US, the need for more economic aid has never been greater. The situation has become so dire that 127 of the country’s top economists this week penned an open letter (PDF) urging Capital Hill to immediately approve another series of direct payments. But with Congress on recess until Nov. 30 and the winter holidays approaching, time is running out for lawmakers to negotiate and pass another economic relief measure before year’s end.

Read on for more information about how your stimulus payment could go up. And take a minute to educate yourself on the steps you can take to get your next stimulus check faster. We update this story often.
How much higher could your second check amount be?

Again, we won’t know the rules for sure until a bill is signed into law. But we do know some possibilities, based on previous proposals and possibly even the most recent Republican offerings. For most people, the total amount you’re likely to receive is based on your adjusted gross income, or AGI, and other eligibility requirements.


Here’s how much more stimulus money you could potentially see if…

More people qualify as a dependent: The Democratic proposal for the next bill expands the definition of “dependent” to include anyone you can claim on your tax returns — such as children over 16 and adults under your care. By today’s sums, that’s $500 more per person you support, with potentially no cap. If you had one dependent who qualified in the first round and three that qualify in the second, that would get your family $1,000 more if you had no other changes…Read more>>



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