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Bad news: You might not be eligible for the next stimulus check

Published Jul 7th, 2020 1:59PM EDT
New stimulus check
Image: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
  • Congress is expected to take up new stimulus check legislation in a matter of weeks, as part of a continuing effort to grapple with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • If lawmakers do pass a new stimulus bill that includes funding for more direct payments to Americans, as is expected, not everyone who got a check last time may qualify this time around.
  • Lawmakers have been talking about adding an income cap to any new legislation they pass.

There’s a giant cloud that’s been hanging over the US economy for months now, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that’s wrecked the lives of millions of people around the globe, killed scores, and thrown tens of millions of people out of work in the US alone. The economic pain has proven so acute, in fact, that the federal government is expected to pursue a new round of emergency stimulus in the coming weeks, with new legislation in all likelihood including an additional round of stimulus checks that provide direct payments to Americans.

Reading the tea leaves thus far, it seems that Congress will all but certainly dive into preparing this new legislation once the Senate returns from its two-week recess, ahead of getting the legislation wrapped up in time to start getting new checks out in August. Meantime, there’s a new potential angle to add to our understanding of who will likely get a new check — and it could be bad news if most of you are hoping for additional funds.

As we speculated in a recent post, not everyone who got a stimulus check the last time around may get another this time — with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky alluding to the same idea in comments on Monday.

“I think the people that have been hit the hardest are people who make about $40,000 or less,” McConnell said, according to The Hill. “Many of them work in the hospitality industry … That could well be a part of it.

“I’ll be unveiling something, which will be a starting place, in a few weeks. And we’ll then be dealing with the administration and the Democrats and all the rest … I think we will do something again. I think the country needs one last boost.”

As a reminder, there was an income threshold attached to the first stimulus bill, although individuals could make up to $75,000 to get the full $1,200 payment. You phased out of receiving even a portion of that stimulus amount at all if you made $99,000 or above. Even so, a $40,000 cap will still allow millions of Americans to benefit this time.

Newsweek notes that according to the most recent census data, there were 131 million Americans with an income of less than $40,000 in 2018.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.