New HEALS Act Provides Another $1,200 Payment and Unemployment Benefits
A new coronavirus stimulus package has made its way to the US Senate. The HEALS Act announced on Monday night is a $1 trillion bill that includes another $1,200 stimulus check for many Americans, $200 per week in extra unemployment benefits, and more money for schools, among other measures.
Second Round of Checks
The stimulus payment of $1,200 is similar to the previous payments that was sent out in April. Each eligible individual will receive $1,200. Married or joint filers will receive a payment of $2,400. $500 will be paid for dependents, with no age restrictions. This differs from the CARES Act which required dependents to be under 17 years of age.
In order to qualify for the second stimulus payment, you much have earned less than $75,000 (for individuals) or $150,000 (for married/joint filers) in 2019. From there, checks will be reduced by $5 for every $100 in income, phasing out completely at $99,000 and $198,000.
Unemployment Benefit Payments
The CARES Act from earlier this year provided for a $600 per week in federal supplemental unemployment benefit payments to laid off employees. These supplemental benefits expired last week, which means that right now many unemployed Americans are getting their last $600 checks.
There was talk of this benefit being extended, but that didn’t happen in the proposed HEALS Act. Those arguing against the extension of the $600 payment, point to the fact that it was that is too high and exceeded the wages of many workers and discouraging them from returning to work.
Instead, the new bill offers a $200 a week temporary supplement to state unemployment payments. That $200 payment will only last for two months and give states time to implement a more complicated program that would pay workers 70% of the income they collected before they lost their job.
These are two of most talked about points in the bill, but there’s also funding for many more programs. And remember that this is could change completely before it passes both chambers. The House introduced a separate $3 trillion HEROES Act in May. Negotiations are expected to continue through August. After an agreement is made, the stimulus bill will take effect when the president signs it into law.