New stimulus checks are coming for jobless Americans. After months of negotiations, lawmakers struck a $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus deal. The new stimulus package was passed by the Senate earlier this week, just in time as nearly 12 million Americans are set to lose unemployment benefits the day after Christmas.
People should start receiving their stimulus checks as early as next week. Checks will be sent via direct deposit for those with bank accounts. In the spring, physical checks were mailed to Americans who didn’t have a bank account or for those the federal government didn’t have direct deposit information.
So what can we expect from the new stimulus package and who will be eligible to receive a stimulus check? Well, there have been some changes from the last stimulus package, one of the biggest being that mixed-status immigrant households will be eligible.
Here’s what the stimulus package includes:
- Americans who earned up to $75,000 in 2019 will receive a $600 direct payment. That is less than the $1,200 checks approved in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act in March.
- It provides $600 per child, up from $500 in the spring. The bill also includes $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000 a year.
- The size of the benefit would be reduced for those earning more than $75,000, or $150,000 per married couple, similar to the last round of stimulus checks.
- There is no cap on the number of children a household can claim, so a family of four would receive up to $2,400.
Who is eligible for stimulus checks:
- For the first time, mixed-status households, or those where a family member doesn’t have a Social Security number, will be eligible to receive stimulus payments. This is a key change from the CARES Act.
- Those without Social Security numbers, still aren’t eligible. But it would allow U.S. citizens who are married to foreign nationals without Social Security numbers to receive the aid.
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What else is included in the package?
The stimulus package will also include unemployment benefits will also extend all pandemic unemployment programs set to expire at the end of December by an additional 11-weeks through mid-March.
The measure will also provide a federal unemployment benefit of $300 per week for up to 11 weeks. This however is less than the $600 previously provided under the CARES Act.
Additionally, the stimulus package will include an extension of the small business Paycheck Protection Program, which expanded eligibility to local newspapers, broadcasters and nonprofits. It will direct another $20 billion to small business grants and $15 billion to live event venues.