Will You Receive the Entire $1,200 Stimulus Check? Not Necessarily. What You Should Know


If Congress does approve the Senate-backed HEALS Act, how much of the stimulus money could actually be yours? Let’s walk through the possible determining factors.

After a weekend of discussions over another economic relief package, it seems like a second stimulus check worth up to $1,200 has approval on all fronts. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he thinks there’s “enormous bipartisan support” for “checks in the mail,” he told ABC’s This Week on Sunday.

But the full stimulus amount isn’t a sure thing for everyone. You could get less than the $1,200 cap. But, depending on the final bill’s eligibility requirements, it’s possible your family could receive even more money than the first stimulus payment.

The Republican-authored HEALS Act could offer some families $500 more for dependents who were skipped the first time. Both the Democrat-led House of Representatives and President Donald Trump have agitated for more people to qualify, with a higher threshold of stimulus money per family, but that isn’t likely at this stage of the negotiation, which lawmakers want to conclude by Friday. 

What does all this mean for the size of your stimulus check? How much money could your family get with the next payment? Read on for everything we know right now and check back often for updates.

How much of the $1,200 second stimulus check could you end up getting?

The Senate’s HEALS Act offers an upper limit of $1,200 per qualified person, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get it all. Your tax filing status helps determine your share, among other factors.

The first stimulus check left out child dependents who were 17 or older and university students under 24 years old. The Republican plan would include $500 for dependents regardless of age, such as children and adults you claim in your tax filings.

The calculations can be tricky and depend on aspects of your 2019 taxes, such as your adjusted gross income and whether you filed as single, married or head of household. Though we can’t say for sure that the figures below follow the IRS’s calculation, this handy calculator that The Washington Post put together for the first stimulus check could shed some light on what you might get if the HEALS Act were to pass as is.


  Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Scenario 4
Filed 2019 taxes? Yes Yes No No
Filing status Single Head of household Married Married
2018 or 2019 tax AGI $80,000 $140,000 $130,000 $130,000
Dependents under 17 (CARES Act) 0 1 2 2
Dependents over 17 (HEALS Act) 0 0 0 2
Calculated check amount $950 $1,325 $3,400 $4,400


How the second stimulus check amount could be different

At this point, it’s unlikely for the stimulus check cap to exceed $1,200, but it’s possible that individuals and families could get more money if more people qualify. Chances are low at this point, but here’s what the House of Representatives’ Heroes Act, which isn’t law, proposed:

  • Children and dependents: $1,200 payment (HEALS Act stipulates $500 apiece)
  • Families: Households would qualify for a maximum payment of $6,000 total, capped at five family members receiving $1,200 apiece.
  • People who aren’t US citizens: Noncitizens who file tax returns, pay taxes and otherwise comply with federal tax law using an individual taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security number would qualify for a payment.

How much stimulus money you could get in August is still undecided.

James Martin/CNET

Previous stimulus check proposals

Before the Senate’s HEALS Act big reveal, these were the front-runner proposals that arose in recent months and how likely we thought they could be. Of course, another stimulus check still isn’t a done deal and anything could happen between now and the final bill.


Amount Proposer Proposal details How likely?
$0 White House Payroll tax cut so workers keep more of their paychecks. Unlikely to replace stimulus check.
$0 White House Business tax break for companies who don’t furlough workers. Unlikely to replace stimulus check.
Less than $1,200 White House Smaller checks targeted at low-income Americans. Unlikely, but fewer may be eligible.
$1,200 House of Representatives Part of the Heroes Act passed by the House in May (not law). Likely, possibly with fewer people qualifying.
More than $1,200 White House Stated by President Donald Trump. Less likely, but possible.
$2,000 a month till economy recovers More than 150 economists “Emergency Money” payment for Americans to continue spending, one road to economic recovery. Open-ended payments unlikely to pass.
$2,000 a month till three months after pandemic ends Sen. Kamala Harris Payments through the end of the pandemic and three months after. Open-ended payments unlikely to pass.
$2,000 a month for up to 12 months Rep. Ro Khanna Monthly payments up to a year. The Senate is unlikely to agree to a sum this large, even with an expiration date.
$4,000 travel tax credit White House A temporary tax credit to cover individual and family travel expenses, meant to rev up local economies. Unlikely to replace stimulus check.

When will Congress make a stimulus check decision?

The two sides are now working out the details of the new proposal, with an eye on Aug. 7. This is the deadline Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set to pass another stimulus bill before a planned month-long recess. 

If an agreement can’t be reached, it’s possible the House and Senate will push back their respective recesses and extend the current sessions in Washington. Here’s more on the timeline, including when the IRS could send the first checks.

If you’re still waiting for your first stimulus check, here are 10 possible reasons for a delaywhat you can do if you think your payment is lost or has fallen through the cracks and if you could receive two refund checks from the IRS.

Julie Snyder contributed to this report. Original post here.