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There have been a lot of changes lately regarding the second round of stimulus checks, but the latest proposal is currently the Coronavirus Assistance for American Families (CAAF) Act. Use the calculator to find out ow much you could get from the second round of stimulus checks! How would your CAAF stimluls check amount compare to the HEROES Act proposed in May and the HEALS Act proposed in July?

The CARES Act brought the first stimulus check into millions of American homes. In May, Democrats proposed their bill - the HEROES Act, a record-breaking $3 trillion relief package. However, the bill was criticized by many politicians, including President Donald Trump, who called it "dead on arrival". It took the Senate Republicans over two months to propose an alternative bill, referred to as the HEALS Act. Within a week a new proposal was put forth, the CAAF Act which specifically targets stimulus checks.

Our calculator compares how much money you will be eligible for if either the HEROES Act, the HEALS Act or the CAAF Act were passed in Congress. You will be able to see both numbers visualized on a chart and answer the question: Which of the two stimulus proposals would be better for my family and me?

What are the HEROES Act, the HEALS Act, and the CAAF Act?

The HEROES Act (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act), submitted by the congressional Democrats and passed by The House of Representatives in May, is a proposal for a $3 trillion relief package, from which a substantial amount would go towards the second round of stimulus checks.

The HEALS Act is an alternative proposal for a $1 trillion relief package which also includes the second stimulus check round. Compared to the HEROES Act, the stimulus check criteria is much more similar the first stimulus payment. It means that the eligibility criteria are easier to understand - if you qualified for a check back then, you will get one now, too. You can read more about it in the article accompanying the stimulus payment calculator.

The CAAF Act is the second alternative proposal for a second stimulus check round. The CAAF Act provides different amounts for individuals and dependents than either HEROES Act or the first stimulus payment. The eligibility for checks was expanded - even if you did not qualify for a check back then, you may get one now.

While the proposed HEROES Act and 'HEALS Act' (American Workers, Families, and Employers Assistance Act) introduced much more than just the stimulus check, the CAAF Act specifically addressed the second stimulus check, likely to aid the speed of delivery as the summer recess after August 7 draws near. Additional measures in the HEROES Act and HEALS Act included:

  • An extension of the enhanced unemployment benefit. You can use our unemployment benefit - HEALS vs. HEROES calculator to check how much you'd receive according to each of these bills.

  • Another round of the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans for small businesses, farmers and ranchers.

  • Multiple additional relief packages and assistance programs - for example, the HEROES Act proposes a forgiveness of student loans.

If you want to learn more about each of these bills, check out our dedicated second stimulus check - HEROES Act and HEALS Act calculators!

Similarities between the HEROES Act, the HEALS Act and the CAAF Act

Although there have now been three proposals for the new stimulus check, the criteria of eligibility and income thresholds are very similar in all these three bills. In all cases, the following apply:

  1. You need to earn less than $75,000 annually to receive the full stimulus check for individuals (if you're an on a wage, you can easily convert it with the hourly to salary calculator calculator). If you earn more, but your income doesn't exceed $99,000, you will also get a check, but for a smaller sum. You won't be eligible for any payment if your AGI (adjusted gross income) is higher than $99,000.

  2. If you're married, you apply for the check as a couple. The stimulus checks for married couples are sent jointly; the sum of your income and your spouse's income has to be lower than $150,000 for the full joint filer amount. If you earn more than $198,000, you're not eligible for either the full or the reduced check.

  3. The income cap is higher for single parents and those qualifying for head of household. As a head of household, you will get the full check if your AGI is lower than $112,500 and the reduced one up to the AGI of $136,500.

  4. Unlike the CARES Act (the bill which regulated the first stimulus check), neither of the new proposals specifies the age of dependents, so you will obtain money for adult dependents as well.

  5. You don't need to apply for the check. People who qualify for the stimulus payment will receive a direct bank transfer or, if that's impossible, a check per mail.

Differences between the HEROES Act, the HEALS Act and the CAAF Act

If you focus on the stimulus payment only, the two bills might look deceptively similar. There are a few key differences, though, which are especially important if you claim multiple dependents.

  1. The base amounts for individuals, joint filers differs between the HEROES Act, the HEALS Act and the CAAF Act. The HEROES and HEALS Act both provided $1200 for individual filers and $2400 for joint filers. The CAAF Act provides $1000 for individual filers and $2000 for joint filers.

  2. You will receive additional money if you claim dependents, but the amount differs between the two bills. Every dependent you claimed on the tax form will receive an additional $500 benefit per the HEALS Act, $1,000 benefit per the CAAF Act, and $1,200 per the HEROES Act.

  3. There is a maximum number of dependents in the HEROES Act - you can't claim more than three dependents. Neither the HEALS Act nor the CAAF Act introduces such a limit.

  4. While the HEALS Act restricted the stimulus check to only those with a Social Security Number (SSN), the CAAF Act expanded eligibility to include joint filers where only one spouse has an SSN. However, the base amount for such couples is reduced to $1,000 (couples with at least one spouse who served in the Armed Forces of the United States in the taxable year are not subject to a reduction). The HEROES Act, on the other hand, only required the individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) to be eligible for a stimulus check. What's the difference? The individual taxpayer identification number is commonly used by immigrants without green cards, foreign students and foreign investors, such that the targeted population under the CAAF Act is narrower compared to the HEROES Act, but wider compared to the CARES Act.

💡 For example, a married couple with three children and a joint gross income of $105,000 would receive a check for $5,000 according to the CAAF Act, $3,900 according to the HEALS Act, and for $6,000 according to the HEROES Act.

When is the earliest I can get my check?

If Congress agrees on the new bill before August 7, there's a chance you could receive the stimulus payment in August already! If, however, they won't reach an agreement that soon, the Senate will begin their summer recess, which lasts until September 8. In this case, you probably won't receive the check before late September.

Once the bill is passed, the distribution of stimulus checks will happen quickly. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) won't have to prepare a new list of eligible citizens, but they will be able to use the list from the previous check to make the whole process much faster.

Bogna Szyk and Jasmine J Mah
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This calculator compares the payments you are likely to receive when either the CAAF Act, HEALS Act or the HEROES Act will be passed in the Senate.
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CAAF Act stimulus
HEALS Act stimulus
HEROES Act stimulus
💡 If you're currently unemployed, check the differences in unemployment benefit proposed by the Republicans (the HEALS Act) and the Democrats (the HEROES Act)!
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