While support is growing in Washington for another economic aid bill before the end of the year, if negotiators agree to send another stimulus check, Americans have already decided how they will use the payment, with barely one in five saying the money would go toward holiday gifts, according to a recent Yahoo Finance-Harris Poll.
If Congress does send another check before the holidays, 53% of those surveyed said they would use some of the money to pay down debt bills, per the Yahoo Finance-Harris poll. Forty-three percent said some of the money would go toward necessities, 39% would put part of they payment toward savings, and 30% said they would use it for housing.
Without an agreement in hand, Washington lawmakers can’t guarantee a second stimulus check will be part of the next COVID-19 relief bill (here’s what happens if it isn’t). But if another direct payment is approved, changes to the requirements mean that you and your dependents may actually qualify for more money than you did before (here’s how the IRS determines payment amounts).
Not everyone will be eligible to get the next stimulus check, of course. And it’s possible you could also see a smaller sum in the next check if your life circumstances changed (more on that below). But depending on what happens with negotiations on a final deal, there are several key ways your household could benefit.
Keep reading for everything we know about how a second stimulus payment could equal a bigger check for you. If no stimulus bill passes, here are the steps Biden could take after his inauguration. This story is regularly updated.
How much larger 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.
Child dependents get more money: The most recent White House proposal would keep the same age restriction for children, but double the payout to $1,000. So if you have one dependent, your second check could be $500 larger.
You gain another dependent: If you had or adopted a child, you may see $500 to $1,000 more, depending on the final bill.
Your employment status changed: If you became unemployed this year or your wages dropped, that could lower your AGI, which is used to determine the payment. For example, if you got a partial payment with the first check, you may receive a full payment if you are no longer employed.
You got married: Depending on several variables that include your spouse’s filing status and any new dependents, a change in marital status could result in a larger check. For example, if you were single and filing alone, you got $1,200 max. Married, you could be eligible for $2,400 maximum, since the IRS formula used to determine your total stimulus money is based on your combined household income…….Read More>>