When thecame out this past spring as part of March’s COVID-19 relief bill, the easiest way to understand it was as a $1,200 check that would magically arrive in your mailbox or bank account as long as you didn’t make too much money the year before. But that’s nowhere near the whole story for tens of millions of Americans and non-citizens, and their families.
All this is important as we round the bend on the next stretch of negotiations over a new stimulus package that could yield a second stimulus check. Knowing how the qualifications rules work, who didn’t qualify for a first check and who, can help you know what to expect.
Yes, the income limit is a huge factor in determining if you’d get the whole payment, a partial sum or none at all. But there’s also a mix of complex factors, like your, , number of , , , and the of people in your household.
By the way, millions of people who were, including those who didn’t get a payment , people and . We’ll help you figure out what it all means for your situation. (P.S. Here’s .) This story was recently updated.
Here’s every qualification that could change in a new bill
According to a September Gallup poll, there’s broad bipartisan support for a second round of stimulus payments, with seven in 10 Americans surveyed favoring more aid. Here’s what’s in the proposals that are still on the table:
Definition of a dependent: The CARES Act capped eligibleas kids age 16 and younger. One proposal this summer — child or adult — you could claim on federal taxes. That means families with older kids or at home could potentially see $500 more in their check total per individual.
More money per child dependent: The most recent White House proposal would keep the definition of a child dependent, but increase the sum per individual to an extra $1,000 on the final household check. Here’s how toand .
Stop seizing overdue child support: The Democrats this summer pushed to let a parent who owedreceive a payment; the original CARES Act allowed the government to .
More clarity on people who are incarcerated: After months of back and forth, A Republican plan this summer would have excluded the payments.and eligible for a payment.
Noncitizens: The CARES Act made a Social Security number a requirement for a payment. Other proposals would have expanded the eligibility to those with an ITIN instead of a Social Security number because they are classified as A Republican plan this summer would have excluded those with an ITIN..
The first income limits could apply to the second payment
Under the CARES Act, here are the income limits, based on yourfor the previous year, that would qualify you for a stimulus check, assuming you met all the other requirements. (More below for people who don’t normally file taxes.)
- You’re a single tax filer and earn less than $99,000
- You file as the head of a household and earn under $146,500
- You file jointly with a spouse and and earn less than $198,000 combined
Who could qualify for a second stimulus check
|Qualifying group||Likely to be covered by the final bill|
|Individuals||An AGI of less than $99,000 (Same as CARES)|
|Head of household||An AGI of less than $146,500 (Same as CARES)|
|Couple filing jointly||An AGI less than $198,000 (Same as CARES)|
|Dependents of any age||No limit (HEALS proposal; up to 3 in Heroes)|
|US citizens living abroad||Yes, same as CARES|
|Citizens of US territories||Likely, with payments handled by each territory’s tax authority (CARES)|
|SSDI and tax nonfilers||Likely, but with an extra step to file (more below)|
|Uncertain status||Could be set by court ruling or bill|
|Incarcerated people||Excluded under CARES through IRS interpretation, judge overturned|
|Undocumented immigrants||Qualifying “alien residents” are currently included under CARES|
|Disqualified group||Unlikely to be covered by the final bill|
|Noncitizens who pay taxes (ITIN)||Proposed in Heroes, unlikely to pass in Senate|
|Spouses, kids of ITIN filers||Excluded under CARES, more below|
|People who owe child support||Included in Heroes proposal, but excluded under CARES|
Even if you don’t pay taxes, they’re important to your stimulus check
For most people,. For example, the most important factor in setting income limits is , which determines how much of the $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples you could receive if you meet the other requirements.
Ourcan show you how much money you could potentially expect from a second check, based on your most recent tax filing. Read below for your eligibility if you don’t typically file taxes.
Retired or older adults: Certain exceptions and rules may apply
Many, received a first stimulus check under the CARES Act, and would likely be eligible for a second one. For older adults and retired people, factors like , , your pension, if you’re part of the (more below) and whether the IRS considers you a dependent would likely affect your chances of receiving a second payment.
If you share custody or owe child support, what happens?
Due to a specific rule, if you and the other parent of your child dependent alternate years claiming your child on your tax return, youin your first stimulus check, and in the second if that rule doesn’t change.
If you owe child support, your(the amount you owe).
What if you didn’t file a federal tax return in 2018 or 2019?
People who weren’t required to file a federal income tax return in 2018 or 2019 may not have been required to file:under the CARES Act. If that guideline doesn’t change for a second stimulus check, this group would qualify again. Here are reasons you might
- You’re over 24, you’re not claimed as a dependent and your income is less than $12,200.
- You’re married filing jointly and together your income is less than $24,400.
- You have no income.
- You receive federal benefits, such as Social Security or Social Security Disability Insurance. See below for more on SSDI.
With the first stimulus check, nonfilers needed to provide the IRS with some information before they could receive their payment. (If you still haven’t received a first check even though you were eligible, the IRS has to use its Non-Filers tool through Nov. 21.) who may fall into this category but who haven’t requested their payment.
Can you still get a stimulus payment if you receive SSI or SSDI?
Those who are part of the Direct Express card, which the government typically uses to distribute federal benefits, but through a non-Direct Express bank account or as a paper check. SSDI recipients also need to use the IRS’ Non-Filers tool to request a payment for themselves and dependents.under the CARES Act. Recipients wouldn’t receive their payments via their
For more, here’s what we know about the. We also have information on , , and .