With the second stimulus package expected to be passed by Senate on Monday, December 21, and passed into law soon after that by President Trump, the details are becoming clearer on the payment levels Americans can expect:
Stimulus payments: The new package includes $600 stimulus checks per adult and child. The amount per adult is half of what was provided under the original CARES Act in March. The amount per child is slightly larger than CARES provided. The new bill will also allow U.S. citizens living in households that include non-citizens to receive payment.
Payment thresholds: The size of the second stimulus payment decreases for people with earnings above $75,000 in the 2019 tax year and disappears totally for those who earned more than $99,000.
Unemployment benefits: Congress will also extend the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program for up to 11 weeks. It provides unemployment benefits of up to $300 per week and could commence as early as December 27 and run through March 14, 2021. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides unemployment benefits program for contract and gig workers, currently set to expire at the end of the year, is also being extended for 11 weeks.
These extensions are significant, given that several unemployment-related programs are set to expire in March, creating another potential financial cliff for Americans who have been most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Housing assistance: The new bill also includes several measures for Americans struggling with rent payments. It extends the current eviction moratorium through the end of January 2021 and earmarks $25 billion for rental assistance to families facing eviction. Run through state and local organizations chosen to distribute the funding, the program will provide eligible renters assistance with rent, utility payments, and bills that have accumulated since the onset of the pandemic.
Continue to watch this blog for updates on this and other financial stories as new information is made available.