The coronavirus pandemic hit the job market hard. At its peak, the unemployment rate in the US reached a staggering 14.4%, and nearly half of the population was jobless. To prevent a total economic collapse, the US Senate has passed a record-breaking $2 trillion stimulus package.
Now, the Senate is working on the new HEROES Act (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act) - an extension of the previous stimulus payments. Despite the bill being initially called "dead on arrival," the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on July 6 that a new deal was likely. He also suggested that the income cap on this round of stimulus checks will be much lower, saying "I think the people who have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 a year or less". This would mean that 80 million American households would still be eligible for the check.
Based on this information, we created a calculator that simulates how much money you'd be eligible for, should the second stimulus check be capped at an annual income of $40,000.
|💡 Remember that this calculator is purely hypothetical! It is based on the proposed version of the HEROES Act with a $40,000 income cap. The actual bill is still under discussion.|
Am I still eligible for the check?
Our calculator makes the same assumptions as the ones put forward in the original form of the HEROES Act. The main rules are:
Everyone beneath the income threshold is eligible for the stimulus check, as long as they filed their taxes either in 2019 or 2018. According to the Senate Majority Leader, the new threshold is an annual income of $40,000.
The income of married couples is calculated together. If the income cap is $40,000 for a single person, it is doubled to $80,000 for a married couple.
Your stimulus is higher if you claim dependents. Unlike with the first stimulus check, the HEROES Act allows you to claim up to three children aged 17 or younger as dependents, too.
The phase-out rate is still unclear. According to the HEROES Act, the second stimulus check was supposed to be a flat rate of $1,200 per person if your income didn't exceed $75,000 a year. You would still get a check - although lower - if your income was between $75,000 and $100,000. So far, Mitch McConnell hasn't mention the new rules of phase-out.
What does the $40,000 cap change?
The introduction of the $40,000 cap means that many people who were previously eligible for the check will now find themselves above the income threshold. Still, the stimulus check would make way into over 80 million American households.
According to Jeff Stein, a White House economics reporter, the number of $40,000 is not a throwaway. The Republican party is moving towards this limit in the general consensus.