What a Second Round of COVID-19 Stimulus Means for Seniors

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What a Second Round of COVID-19 Stimulus Means for Seniors

By Rebecca Fending

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, so does the struggle many Americans are facing when trying to stay financially afloat. From cut hours at work, to lay-offs and even portfolio hits, working adults and seniors have experienced a sharp blow to their bank accounts. The first round of stimulus checks to citizens under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March was received by many people, including senior citizens. However, there is speculation that retirement-age folks may not receive a second direct deposit if the bill is passed.

When will the second stimulus be here?

The bill was passed by the House of Representatives in May and is currently working its way through Senate. According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the bill is currently at a standstill as officials are still undecided as to whether a second stimulus plan is necessary. If the new plan is passed, the second round of stimulus will take place sometime in late July after the Senate returns from a two week break.

The Senate has yet to approve the second stimulus package.
The Senate has yet to approve the second stimulus package.

What will Round Two include?

The second round of stimulus money will likely include a similar $1,200 check or deposit to be used by recipients for any and all purposes. However, the specifics of the plan are still unclear as there is speculation that there may be refined details as to exactly how much a person receives, as well as the specifics of the recipients themselves. Some sources say that this bill might include a monthly payment of $2,000 per eligible person, as opposed to the one-time deposit we saw in April, with a maximum amount of $6,000 per household.

President Trump has also suggested an additional $4,000 tax credit in the name of “Explore America“. Don’t get your hopes up, this isn’t meant to be an additional $4,000 in your pocket. Instead, the tax credit will act as a way for each household to indulge in travel plans and later be reimbursed for them on their taxes. This credit is meant as a way to encourage and increase travel as a way to help the economy of the country and individual states whose economies are largely dependent on tourism and travel, such as Florida.

This graph depicts the impact of Florida tourism on both the state and country. Image from SRQ Magazine.

Why are seniors at risk for not receiving another deposit?

This time around, it seems as though individuals who receive society security (i.e. senior citizens and retirees) may not receive another stimulus check. The hypothetical Round Two plan will occur under a new act created by Republican representative from Texas Kevin Brady, named “Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses Act of 2020“. This proposed plan is meant to help encourage workers who were previously collecting unemployment (an amount determined by their personal situation and state with an added $600 for assisted pandemic relief) to get back to their jobs.

As most social security recipients are either unemployed or retired and therefore don’t work, this new act does not name them as an eligible group. Although it’s still not known if Rep. Brady’s proposed plan will be approved by Senate, it does appear as a favorable solution. The Act functions as a compromise at the undecided intersection of increasing unemployment benefits, providing another boost of stimulus money to Americans or encouraging the return of the workforce.

Although this second stimulus plan has yet to be approved, there’s no promise of another second plan. Be sure to continue being smart with your finances and your health to best protect and plan for your future.

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