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Are More Stimulus Checks Coming? Here's What The HEALS Act Proposes

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Senate Republicans unveiled their latest stimulus proposal Monday, vowing it would go beyond simply providing families with economic relief and instead push the country into recovery. But are more stimulus checks coming? The HEALS Act includes a proposed second round of $1,200 economic stimulus payments.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise in dozens of states, forcing some to roll back reopening plans, families that have experienced job loss or a reduction in hours or pay have struggled to afford their basic needs during the pandemic. As a result there's been a strong push for a second stimulus payment — and it seems as if Senate Republicans have heard those calls.

The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act, or HEALS Act, includes a proposal to distribute a second round of $1,200 impact payments to eligible Americans. According to a memo from the Senate Finance Committee, payments authorized under the HEALS Act will use the same eligibility formula outlined in the CARES Act, which Congress passed in March.

That means that similar to the CARES Act, the HEALS Act would, if passed, grant $1,200 to U.S. citizens and residents who have a work eligible Social Security number and an adjusted gross income that falls at or below $75,000. Married couples whose combined income falls at or below $150,000 would receive $2,400 under the HEALS Act.

Payments will decrease in $5 increments for every $100 above $75,000 or $150,000 an individual or married couple earns in income. Additionally, individuals and married couples who earn $99,000 or $198,000, respectively, would not be eligible to receive a stimulus payment under the HEALS Act, according to the Senate Finance Committee.

However, while the CARES Act limited additional payments for dependents to only cover children under the age of 17, the HEALS Act proposes providing an additional $500 payment per dependent to eligible taxpayers who care for a dependent of any age and relation. As a result, the HEALS Act is expected to count college students and adult dependents when distributing stimulus payments for dependents, which is good news for parents caring for college students that have returned home due to school and dorm closures.

Because Senate Republicans have proposed using the eligibility requirements outlined in the CARES Act, those who received a stimulus payment under the CARES Act can expect to see a second one-time payment should Congress pass the HEALS Act.

While Democrats have supported a second round of stimulus payments, their proposals have called for raising dependent payments from $500 to $1,200. Additionally, some Democratic lawmakers have previously argued for authorizing $2,000 a month stimulus payments. Still, the fact that there is bipartisan support for a second stimulus payment could bode well for the families who could benefit from a bit of additional economic help. That being said, it could be another few weeks before Congress comes to an agreement and passes an economic stimulus package, and even longer for the IRS to begin rolling out payments.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.