Are we getting another stimulus check in 2020?
What can you do to earn income in the meantime?
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Remember the $1,200 stimulus check that qualified Americans received months ago? Feels like it may have happened a million years ago. Well, it turns out that there is massive bipartisan support for another round of stimulus payments. According to a Gallup poll, 70% of Americans support the government sending an additional economic impact payment (EIP) to all qualified adults.
Honestly, it just makes sense! Businesses are suffering, hours have been cut, and people need the help. Why does it seem like our politicians are more interested in playing the political game than giving us the support we need? Let’s take a look.
Republicans have a majority in the US Senate and Democrats have a majority in the US House currently. On August 18, Republicans in the Senate released a draft proposal for a second COVID-19 relief package: the Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act. It includes $500 billion in direct federal spending and loans.
Meanwhile, the House’s proposal for a second stimulus relief package—called the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act—would cost an estimated $3.4 trillion. The House bill includes funding for a second stimulus check, an extension of supplemental $600 per week unemployment benefits, hazard pay for front-line workers, and rent and mortgage assistance, among other forms of aid. With an upcoming election, the pressure is ON to get Americans another round of stimulus checks.
October 2020 update: where have we landed with a second stimulus check?
On October 1st, The House of Representatives approved a $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus proposal put forward by House Democrats. There is still no bipartisan deal in sight, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have continued talks in an effort to reach an agreement.
As of October 2nd, Speaker of The House Pelosi said, "I'm hopeful that we can reach agreement" on a bipartisan deal, but she made it abundantly clear that the two players, and their respective parties, are not on the same page on important issues. "We're kind of in the ballpark on some things," Pelosi said, but added, "still way off in terms of state and local government." She also said that Democrats "have concerns about a sufficient amount of money to address the unemployment insurance needs of the American people."
Meanwhile, Republicans have said that it is now up to Pelosi to counter the roughly $1.6 trillion proposal Mnuchin put on the table at the end of September, which is hundreds of billions of dollars away from the roughly $2.2 trillion plan House Democrats voted to approve.
Things are, unfortunately, not looking up for the people trapped in this political limbo. The Department of Labor announced a total of 886,000 new jobless claims for the week of October 15th -- up 77,000 from the week prior. And 14 million people who were helped by the CARES Act's $600 per week unemployment benefit fell back into poverty after benefits expired, a study from the Columbia University Center on Poverty and Social Policy (PDF) found.
How much will I receive with this next stimulus check
Depending on how negotiations work out, the total amount your family may get could change. Here's a look at the caps put in place to give you an idea of what government leaders are thinking.
CARES Act: With the CARES Act from March, there was no limit to the number of children who could count as dependents, as long as they were under 17 and claimed by the taxpayer on the tax return, according to the Tax Foundation. Each dependent would garner the taxpayer $500. Theoretically, a family in which two adults and six children under 17 were eligible for the full amount could receive $5,400.
HEALS Act: Similar to the CARES Act, the HEALS Act put forth by Republicans doesn't mention a cap on the amount a family may receive. The difference is that it doesn't limit dependents to those under 17 to qualify for the $500 payment.
Heroes Act: The Heroes Act, put together by the Democratic-led House and which has never been taken up or vetoed by the Senate, would place a cap of $6,000 for households of five or more. Essentially, it proposes $1,200 for each adult and dependent, with a maximum of three dependents per family.
When can we expect another stimulus check?
After combing through the calendars of the House of Representatives and the Senate, we've pulled together some potential stimulus release dates. These dates change based on the different ways your money might arrive to you. Depending on whether or n0t you're signed up for direct deposit, the amount of time it takes for your money to arrive with vary.
Though, there is a silver lining here! Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, said that he will be able to," ...get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people's direct accounts." Hopefully, that means that when a stimulus settlement is finally reached, we won't have to wait long to get our checks.
So, where does that leave us?
Isn’t that the golden question? It looks like the Senate is uninterested in spending much money, and the House is also unwilling to budge on their proposal. The short answer about whether we are getting another stimulus check is maybe. Despite the overwhelming popular support, despite the fact that small businesses and families are hurting, despite the fact that $1,200 isn’t enough to get by for four months, the best answer we can give you is maybe.
Pardon the editorializing on my end here, but I struggle to understand why congress can take so long to get our tax dollars back into our hands. They don’t seem to have trouble bailing out big business, or campaigning, or golfing, or taking their summer recess… But, I digress. I’m sure someday we will get some form of help from our elected officials, right? It seems like politicians on both sides may be putting politics over our lives, and that's truly disappointing.
What can I do to make money while I wait for another stimulus check?
You came to the right place with this question! I will always and forever recommend cultivating a side hustle. Even when we aren’t in a global pandemic, it’s so helpful to have a second gig to fall back on if times get tight.
Here are some of our most helpful resources for getting started with a side hustle:
Side hustles for financial independence: An expert's guide
And, if you’re looking for even more tips, check out all of our articles on side hustles here