Stimulus Check: How Retroactive Payments of $50,000 Could Happen If a Plan Passes

As negotiations over the second stimulus check wage on, many people see the possibilities getting broader, not narrower considering the number of proposals still technically on the table. One of the most eye-catching bills is the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, which would provide a monthly stimulus check, and do so retroactively back to March. Under that plan, some families could get as much as $50,000 in stimulus money right away.

The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act was introduced to the United States Senate back in May by Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Sen. Ed Markey. It would create a monthly stimulus check worth up to $2,000 per individual, at least until the coronavirus pandemic has been officially over for three months. One surprising facet of the bill is that these generous payments would be retroactive to the start of the pandemic, so if it were passed right now, the IRS would have to issue payments for each month going back to March. For a couple filing taxes jointly with three children, that could be as much as $50,000 right off the bat.

The Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act has higher income thresholds than the previous bills as well. It would give $2,000 per month to anyone making less than $100,000 per year. Even then, the payments would reduce incrementally, so that only someone with a gross annual income of $120,000 or more would get no stimulus check at all. These amounts are doubled for joint filers.

The bill also offers a full stimulus check to dependents, meaning that parents would get another $2,000 per child, with a maximum of three children. That means that if the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act miraculously passed now, families of five under the income threshold would get $50,000 to start with.

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This bill is by no means the most likely to pass in the current slate of heated negotiations. Most legislators largely ignored the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act until Harris was named the vice presidential running mate for Joe Biden. However, just this week Markey reminded his Twitter followers that the retroactive nature of this bill still applies, so the amount they stand to gain from it is only growing.

Sadly, the chances that the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act will pass are still slim. Neither Democrats in the U.S. Congress nor Republicans in the Senate have expressed adequate support for it, and the price tag alone is likely a non-starter. According to a report by Forbes, it would cost about $5.7 trillion — far larger than any of the other plans under consideration.