As unemployment benefits are set to decrease, the Treasury dangles a second round of no-strings-attached payments to most Americans.
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Last updated on July 28 at 10 a.m. EST.
It took a couple months and a few tweaks in the delivery system, but by June, most eligible Americans had received a one-time stimulus check from the Treasury Department of up to $1,200 to spend or save as they wished. What the current presidential administration didn't count on — despite weeks of warnings from public-health experts — was that a summer surge of coronavirus cases across the country would lead to renewed shutdowns in the lifestyle and hospitality sectors and overwhelming need for another round of relief.
So as $600-per-week in additional unemployment benefits expire on July 31 and the Paycheck Protection Program continues to come under scrutiny for failing to serve its stated purpose (i.e. bridging true small businesses through this time), Congress has set about finalizing a new $1 trillion sequel to its initial $2 trillion CARES Act. The details are being fine-tuned as we speak, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — while insisting any extension of unemployment benefits will emphasize rewards for returning to work over payments that rival or exceed an average worker's wages — has pledged that another wave of no-strings-attached, one-time stimulus checks will make their way into millions of checking accounts. But when?
Related: Where's My Stimulus Check?
As of now, Mnuchin foresees the cash finding its way to folks' wallets very soon. As reported by AP, Mnuchin announced this past weekend, “We’ll get the majority of them out in August and those will help people." That is, of course, predicated on the latest CARES package passing smoothly and expeditiously prior to the Senate's upcoming August recess.
But given the precarious state of the economy and the inevitability of more modest unemployment payments, it behooves everyone to ensure their up-to-date tax filings are on record with the IRS. You can do so via this online tool, and we will keep you posted as more information is made available.
Update: After this article went to press, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) shared the outline of his party's proposed $1 trillion HEALS Act. A key piece of it is Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley's (R-Iowa) American Workers, Employees, and Families Assistance Act, confirming a second round of checks and direct deposits — up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 households, with an additional $500 per eligible dependent — to American households. We will continue to update this story as specifics on delivery of payments becomes available.
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