The coronavirus has hit most people’s finances hard. Getting laid off, having your hours cut, or being in self-isolation means your income has probably hit rock bottom. So, it was great news when the government announced coronavirus stimulus checks of $1,200 for most Americans. But the sad truth for most folks is that the stimulus check won’t even last a month. The big question everyone is thinking about is: will there be a second coronavirus stimulus check?
Some states have already started lifting lockdown restrictions. That means we should see some businesses reopening — but life is still a long way from getting back to normal. And, you may not see yourself returning to work any time soon. So, your stress levels are probably hitting the roof, thinking about next month’s rent, getting groceries, or paying bills.
But how would news about a second stimulus check during the Covid-19 pandemic affect you? Knowing that more cash is on its way is going to ease some anxiety.
Read on to find out how likely it is that the government will issue another Covid-19 relief check to help hard-up Americans.
The Coronavirus Relief Checks
The stimulus checks — also called economic impact payments — are part of the CARES act. This rebate from the IRS gives most adults in the US a one-time payment of up to $1,200. This is in addition to an increase in those who qualify for unemployment benefits and getting paid sick leave. Some tenants might also be able to defer rent payments without any penalties.
Some other benefits to reduce the impact of Covid-19 during the pandemic are:
- Free testing for Covid-19 even if you don’t have any health insurance
- Paid leave if you need to quarantine or self-isolate due to the coronavirus
- Unemployment benefits for self-employed, gig workers, and 1099 employees
But getting coronavirus financial help may still not be enough to make ends meet. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average spend in the US on food per month is over $600 and nearly $1,700 for housing. When you do the math, the figures seem bleak. And, $1,200 certainly isn’t going to cut it. So, any more aid to help get through the Covid-19 crisis is welcome indeed.
Where is my First Stimulus Check?
With all this talk of getting a $1,200 coronavirus rebate, you may be wondering where your stimulus check has gone?
The IRS says that by the middle of April 2020, nearly 90 million Covid-19 stimulus payments had been sent. The first to receive their payments were those hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Also, the IRS processes direct deposits faster than paper checks. So, if you’re expecting a paper check, it should be in the mail— or, at least, soon will be.
Of course, if you’re already on a low income and haven’t received your stimulus payment, you may be wondering where your Covid-19 check has gone. After paying rent, doing the monthly shop, and getting a few essentials, there may not be much left.
Is a Second Coronavirus Recovery Rebate Payment Possible?
At present, there are no plans to send out a second coronavirus stimulus check. However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be one in the near future. There are rumblings around Washington about the need for a second payment.
For example, Nancy Pelosi said the CARES bill wouldn’t be the last one that the government passes. Also, as recently as April 24, President Trump approved a 484 billion dollar relief package — the fourth since the coronavirus hit the shores of the US. However, this relief package didn’t include second payments for those hit hardest by the coronavirus.
If you were living paycheck-to-paycheck or you’re eking out a living on benefits, there is some reason for hope. After the last economic recession in 2008, two sets of stimulus rebates were sent to millions of folks. The government also put in place tax cuts and credits to give some financial aid. At the start of April, Reuters quoted President Trump as saying that he’s considering a round of second coronavirus stimulus payments.
Already, politicians are calling for an extension of the CARES Act or other types of stimulus packages to help you. What can you expect from any second stimulus check in the Covid19 pandemic?
What a Second Coronavirus Stimulus Check Could Look Like
At the time of writing, Congress is investigating various ideas and plans regarding the best way to help struggling Americans. Some politicians are proposing monthly cash payments to low-income earners until the health crisis is over. Others are suggesting help in the form of payroll tax cuts or canceling mortgage and rent payments. Or, there may just be a second one-time stimulus check similar to the first one.
One of the proposals that most people are talking about is the Emergency Money for the People Act. This bill was introduced into Congress on April 14. Its goal is to supplement the monthly income of low-wage workers. The Act would see anyone earning less than $130,000 a year receive $2,000 a month for six months. Payments would be made via direct deposit, paper checks, or online tools such as PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle.
The Need for Additional Coronavirus Stimulus Payments
Most people agree that more aid is needed to help get people through the pandemic. Since the coronavirus outbreak, a record number of Americans are out of work. Unfortunately, millions have died due to the Covid-19 disease. According to news reports, over 22 million have filed for unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic. Other surveys show that over 160 million Americans only have enough cash to last them for three months.
Of course, the first stimulus payment of $1,200 was a start. However, not everyone qualified for the payment. If your tax filing status changed, you haven’t yet filed your 2019 tax return, or you’ve had a baby, you may have to wait a long time to get your stimulus check. So, a second Covid-19 relief payment would hopefully help everyone who’s been devastated by the virus.
During these tough times, everyone is finding it hard to get by. You’ve got bills to pay, hungry mouths to feed, and are responsible for keeping a roof over your family’s head. If the second coronavirus stimulus checks are approved, many will breathe a sigh of relief.