Second Stimulus Check: How Eligibility for Next Payment Might Shift With New Legislation

With a second stimulus check to arrive in just days, discussions around a second coronavirus relief stimulus check is well underway among congress. But there is a possibility that eligibility for the next payment might take a turn with the new legislation. According to CNBC, multiple government leaders seem to be on board with sending another round of stimulus checks, to help boost the U.S. economy but there were many issues with the first round of payments — especially with eligibility, which will likely need review and adjustment.

The outlet further notes there is a chance roughly 12 million Americans who were eligible for the first checks are now potentially at risk of not receiving them at all. However, many of the people in these groups find their specific demographic rolled into the next bill. During a House Committee on Small Business hearing, Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn) pointed out to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that many dependents were left out of the initial payments. These groups include some citizens age 17 and over, as well as college students, and disabled adults.

Craig asked if Mnuchin would push for these groups to be included in the next stimulus plan, as well as making retroactive adjustments so they could receive the money they were denied. He replied, "From a policy standpoint, I understand that issue and I am sympathetic to it." Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill) has offered a proposal that low-income college students be granted access to the initial $1,200 payments.

Another group that was left out of the initial payments were immigrant families, including families where one spouse is an American citizen and the other spouse is an immigrant. "The first thing about stimulus payments is that they should be fixed for immigrant families," said Chuck Marr, director of federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Notably, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R), has proposed a bill that would allow Americans married to non-citizens to receive the first stimulus checks.

In March, lawmakers passed the CARES Act — The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act — which provided financial relief to taxpayers and their families, as well as businesses, who have been impacted by the shutdowns necessary to fight the spread of the coronavirus. For individuals, the CARES act paid "1,200 per adult for individuals whose income was less than $99,000 (or $198,000 for joint filers) and $500 per child under 17 years old – or up to $3,400 for a family of four." Lawmakers are still working out the details for a new bill.