MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Congress has agreed to a $900 billion stimulus package to help Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are the highlights, starting with direct stimulus checks.
Direct checks: $600 for adults and $600 for dependents, instead of $1,200 per adult and $500 for dependents in the first round this spring. If you got a check this spring, you'll get one this time because the criteria are the same. A family of four could receive as much as $2,400 under the HEALS Act.
Based on 2019 tax returns, individuals making less than $75,000 and couples making less than $150,000 will get the full amount. It's phased out above that. Checks could go out in the next couple of weeks because the IRS has already done this once.
Second stimulus check calculator: www.omnicalculator.com/finance/second-stimulus-check
Unemployment benefits: A $300-a-week boost in unemployment benefits, on top of state benefits. This boost is half as much as the $600-a-week boost from this spring, which ended in late July. The new extension will last through mid-March. Self-employed workers and gig workers will qualify, as they did the first time.
Also: $325 billion in business relief, including an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program meant to keep workers on companies' payrolls instead of laying them off and $15 billion for performing arts venues; $25 billion for struggling renters; funding for schools; funding for contact tracing; funding for vaccine distribution.