The CARES Act was passed on March 27, 2020, which included stimulus money for individuals, as well as a host of other benefits to protect people and families against the impacts of #Coronavirus. The CARES Act was monumental in a few key ways:
The CARES Act is proof that the U.S. Congress can act swiftly and effectively for American workers, when it is united in purpose and believe in a common goal. If we use the timeline from the CARES Act, we can potentially estimate how quickly the next round of help will be available.
For a bill to become a law, it must be 1) approved by a majority vote from the House of Representatives, 2) approved by majority vote from the Senate, and 3) signed by the President. Once it is a law, only then can the IRS start to figure out how much and who is eligible for a stimulus payment. In the case of the CARES Act, it took the IRS 17 days to begin issuing payments to the 150 million qualified recipients.
Congress, however, has been at a stand-still for months and doesn’t return from summer recess until after Labor Day. Effectively, September 8, 2020 is the earliest possible start-date for the timeline to begin. If the government could agree with the same sense of urgency as it had back in March 2020, we could use the timeline to estimate how quickly individuals could get their next stimulus payment:
|Proposal | House of Reps approval | Senate approval | President Signs | First day IRS issues payments | | :------------: | :------------: |:---------------:| :-----:|:-----:| | CARES Act ✅ | 1 day (Mar 26) | 1 day (Mar 25) | 1 day (Mar 27)| 17 days (Apr 15)| | Next proposal - if Congress can agree | 1 day (Sep 8)| 1 day (Sep 9) | 1 day (Sept 10)| 17 days (Sep 28)* |
The reality is that Congress is still deeply divided and so while U.S. workers are facing 10.2% #unemployment, increased risks amidst a pandemic, and overall financial hardship, the help that should be on it's way is stuck with the politicians.
The top two competing bills are the HEROES Act and the HEALS Act - both proposals include another one-time stimulus payment to individuals of $1,200. The HEROES Act was approved by the House of Representatives back in May 2020, but the Senate thought it was too big. The HEALS Act is smaller, but some argue it's not comprehensive enough.
It took the IRS approximately two and half weeks to start making payments to individuals. But not everyone received their payment quickly. Stimulus payments, under the CARES Act, went in the following order:
|Time from first day that IRS issued payment (Apr 15) | Group of recipients |
| :------------: | :------------: |
|Week 1| Anyone who had submitted a 2018 or 2019 tax return to the IRS with direct deposit information (including Social Security recipients)
| Week 2 | Individuals who had a direct deposit or an address on record with the IRS. Payments were issued to people with the lowest incomes first| |Weeks 3 & 4: First half of May| Adults who receive Social Security, SSI, and SSDI on direct deposit, but who did not file their 2018 or 2019 tax returns started receiving payments| | Weeks 5 & 6: Second half of May| Direct payments and paper checks were issued to other recipients and Social Security and SSI recipients with representative payees| |Weeks 7-10: June | Paper checks continued; tax authorities in U.S. territories begin issuing payments|
But the IRS is not done making the stimulus payment that was enacted in March 2020.
**What are your thoughts on another stimulus payment? Do you think it is reasonable to wait months for a payment? **