Senate Democrats have proposed a new stimulus check that would provide $2,000 on a monthly basis to eligible Americans.
The plan, called the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, was released on Friday by Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Ed Markley (D-MA). "Bills will continue to come in every single month during the pandemic and so should help from government," said Harris about the proposal.
A similar proposal was introduced in the House of Representatives last month. That plan, proposed by Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), would give Americans 16 or older making less than $260,000 a year a payment of $2,000 a month. Eligible families would also receive $500 per child per month for up to three children.
Here’s what you need to know about the proposed Senate plan.
Who would be eligible for the money?
Americans making less than $120,000 a year would be eligible to receive up to $2,000 via monthly payments, with payments phasing out at the $100,000 mark. Couples would be eligible to receive $4,000 a month, and families with children would receive an additional $2,000 per child. However, payments would max out at three children.
All U.S. residents, independently of whether or not they have filed a recent tax return or have a Social Security number, would be eligible. The program would use data from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare, and housing assistance programs to ensure that as many residents as possible receive the payments.
When would payments begin to be disbursed?
Because it’s still a proposal, there is no set timeline for when the payments, if the plan passes, would begin.
However, people who would receive payments would also receive a notification in the mail no more than fifteen days after the fact to let them know that payment has been disbursed. The notification would also have the method by which the payment was made and information on how to contact the IRS if the payment was not received.
How would people receive the money?
Similar to how the $1,200 was disbursed, how a person filed their taxes for 2019 or 2018 would come into play. If someone did not file taxes in the previous year, then the IRS would “use any applicable information provided by any relevant Federal and State agencies.”
If you received your tax return or stimulus check by direct deposit, you’d receive this payment in the same way. While you could receive a paper check, the proposal also states that it could be disbursed “through such other means… including through the use of stored value cards and online payment systems.”
The proposal also indicates that special provisions would be made to “identify and account for foster youth and individuals experiencing homelessness.”
Would debt collectors be allowed to seize some or all of the payments?
No. The bill specifically states that debt collectors are forbidden from seizing the rebate payments.
How long would the payments last?
Payments would be paid out retroactively to March, when a national emergency was declared. According to the bill, payments would end “on the third month beginning after the date on which the Secretary of Health and Human Services determines that the public health emergency… with respect to COVID-19 has ended.”
In other words, if the bill passes, you can expect to receive payments retroactively from March through the three months after the coronavirus pandemic is declared over by the federal government.
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