By Victor Reklaitis
There has been a change in who will get stimulus checks in Washington’s next big relief package, as President Joe Biden has agreed to new income limits .
The shift came on March 3 after moderate Democratic senators voiced concerns about money going to people who aren’t in dire need. The Senate then voted 50-49 in favor of its $1.9 trillion relief legislation on March 6 , and the House of Representatives approved the Senate version of the aid bill this past Wednesday . Biden signed the sweeping measure into law on Thursday .
So who looks set to receive the upcoming direct payments of $1,400?
Individuals making $75,000 or less a year and their dependents each would receive checks totaling that full amount. The payments decrease gradually for individuals earning above $75,000 — and they phase out completely for individuals making $80,000 or more. That’s a change from a prior income cap of $100,000.
Couples who file taxes jointly and earn $150,000 or less a year and their dependents each will get full payments of $1,400. The checks become gradually smaller for joint filers making above $150,000, and they phase out entirely at $160,000. That’s a change from a prior income cap of $200,000 for couples.
“Head of household” filers, such as single parents, would see a phase-out starting above an income level of $112,500 and no payments at $120,000 vs. a previous cap of $150,000.
With these guidelines, a married couple with two children would receive up to $5,600, and a single parent with two kids would get up to $4,200. To determine income levels, the federal government will look at adjusted gross income (AGI) from 2020 tax returns, or when they aren’t filed yet it will rely on 2019 returns.
The upcoming $1,400 payment on top of $600 just a few months ago means most Americans will get a total of $2,000, an amount that Biden and other Democrats promised to deliver while campaigning.
One other change in this upcoming “stimmy” round is a household’s adult dependents, such as college students, will receive payments, after previously not being eligible.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that people can “expect to start seeing direct deposits hit their bank accounts as early as this weekend.”
Biden and the Democratic-run Senate and House worked toward enacting their “American Rescue Plan” legislation this week before several pandemic-related jobless programs were due to expire.
U.S. stocks mostly looked on track for losses on Friday, but remained on pace for weekly gains after the the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA) and S&P 500 (S&P:SPX) scored record closes on Thursday .
This report was first published on March 9, 2021.