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Over 80 million taxpayers have already received stimulus checks, however, it could be months before all stimulus checks have been issued. In the meantime, millions of Americans are out of work and there is no definitive timeline for businesses to reopen and the economy to get back on track.
As the COVID-19 pandemic pushes our economy deeper into a recession, it’s clear that many Americans are still struggling.
Help may be on the way. Lawmakers are working behind the scenes to plan our recovery, drafting legislation that would include a new round of stimulus payments and a bill to cancel rent and mortgage payments for a year.
The second stimulus check proposal, the Emergency Money for the People Act, would provide Americans over the age of 16 with a $2,000 monthly check for up to 12 months.
The Emergency Money for the People Act expands the financial relief offered by the CARES Act, which provided a one-time stimulus payment of $1,200.
The Emergency Money for the People Act is different in four key ways:
- It would provide each taxpayer with a larger stimulus payment ($2,000 vs. $1,200)
- The payments would last from 6-12 months (vs. a one-time payment)
- It would provide individuals over the age of 16 with the payment, even if someone else can claim them as a dependent (the CARES Act prohibited stimulus checks to anyone age 17 and over who could be claimed as a dependent).
- It would offer more payment options, including direct deposit, check, pre-paid debit card, and mobile money platforms such as Venmo, Zelle, or PayPal.
Proposed $2,000 Monthly Stimulus Check Eligibility:
The Emergency Money for the People Act, proposed by Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Tim Ryan (D-OH), would expand eligibility beyond those who were eligible for the CARES Act stimulus.
As outlined in the proposed legislation, taxpayers would be eligible for the $2,000 monthly stimulus check if they meet the following requirements:
- Individuals aged 16 and older who earn less than $130,000 annually
- Married couples earning less than $260,000 would be eligible for $4,000 per month
- Qualifying taxpayers would receive an additional $500 per child for up to three children.
- High school students, college students, and adults with disabilities would be eligible for the stimulus payment, even if they can be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s return. They would receive the stimulus payment and their parent or guardian would still be eligible to receive the $500 dependent credit.
- Eligibility would extend to those who had no earnings or are unemployed.
- Eligibility would be based on 2018 or 2019 tax returns. However, those who would be ineligible based on those returns but would be eligible in 2020 could submit two consecutive months of paychecks to verify income eligibility.
Would This Bill Help Turn Our Economy Around?
First, it’s important to remember this is just a proposed bill. It has not yet been voted into law. But it is also clear that many Americans are struggling and will be until businesses reopen and people are able to resume work.
The CARES Act addressed an immediate need. The $1,200 stimulus check will help millions of Americans. But the CARES Act did not address the ongoing need that many Americans are experiencing.
The Emergency Money for the People Act would provide ongoing support for a minimum of six months and for as long as 12 months. As written, the proposal calls for the stimulus payments to continue until the employment-to-population ratio 16 for people ages 16 and over is greater than 60%.
This bill, if approved, could provide a lift that many Americans desperately need.
By Ryan Guina