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Bad news: The next round of $1,200 stimulus checks likely won’t go to these people

Updated Nov 11th, 2020 2:01PM EST
Image: Roman Lipovskiy/Adobe

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  • Signing a coronavirus stimulus bill that includes new stimulus check funding into law will be one of the first priorities of the new Biden-Harris administration.
  • Republicans and Democrats in Congress have been gridlocked for months over what the terms of a new stimulus bill should be.
  • Here’s a look at which taxpayers likely won’t receive a new $1,200 stimulus check next time around.

One of the first orders of business of the new Biden-Harris administration will be to work with Congress to get a new coronavirus relief bill passed as soon as possible, which would provide a shot in the arm to an economy that’s needed one for months. Moreover, we don’t have to guess at this legislative priority for the new administration. The Biden team spells it out clearly, right here — “Bring the leaders of Congress together to build the next deal,” is the action item as laid out on the website detailing Biden’s “emergency action plan.” And such a deal will almost certainly include “additional checks for families.”

A new stimulus check is something millions of Americans have been waiting and hoping for over the last few months, and something they’ve been denied thanks to gridlock in Congress and election season politics that prevented the hard stuff from being tackled. And while we know it’s a certainty the new administration will push for an expansive new stimulus package right out of the gate — and we can even make some educated guesses about priorities like $1,200 stimulus checks this package will include — we can also take the opposite tack. Meaning, we can make some guesses about who probably won’t be receiving a new stimulus check in the next round. This is not official, of course, but let’s take a closer look at who may be left out next time.


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Some reverse-engineering will help us arrive at some hypotheses about who may be left out of the next round of checks. For example, under the terms of the CARES Act — the original stimulus package that Congress passed back in March — if you are a single taxpayer making over $99,000 per year, for example, you wouldn’t qualify for a stimulus check. Terms of a new bill, of course, haven’t been written yet, but that previous limitation may be a good idea of a requirement that would be carried over to this next one.

For married couples who file their taxes jointly, we can use the last time around to make a similar guess. If you have an adjusted gross income together of more than $198,000, in all likelihood you probably won’t be receiving a new stimulus payment. If whatever bill that’s signed by President Biden follows the lead of the CARES Act, it’s likely that taxpayers could get an adjusted payment amount depending on their income below that upper limit, though.

One group of people who we’re even less certain about includes teenagers as well as college-age young adults age 23 and younger.

With some exceptions, young Americans who fell into these categories the first time around were excluded from stimulus checks of their own. Mom and dad got an extra amount, instead, on their stimulus check to cover eligible dependent children. Moreover, the latest White House proposal keeps the CARES Act definition of dependents and children in place while increasing the amount parents can get paid from $500 to $1,000. That means anyone who’s claimed as a dependent won’t get a check of their own, but we’ll have to wait and see what the final package that Biden signs looks like to know for sure.

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.