If they approve …
If a second stimulus check is authorized, immigrants may not need a Social Security number.
Photo: Karolina Grabowska / Pexels
Although it is not yet clear whether the new stimulus package that Republicans are preparing to pass in the Senate will include a new round of stimulus checks, the possibility is not buried.
While Republicans – who are a majority in that legislative body – fine-tune what will be a “focused” and “directed” aid plan, some Americans are keeping their fingers crossed that the much-promised outlay is not left out of the package.
“We have a focused and targeted solution that we hope the Chamber will approve and the Chamber will agree to,” said Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso (Wyoming) to Lisa Desjardins, from PBS NewsHour.
Democrats insist on a bill that amounts to a minimum of $ 2.2 trillion, while Republicans lean for a smaller amount or $ 500 billion.
While the wait continues, what is possible at the moment is to break down who could receive the extra help through direct payments in the event that a new stimulus check passes in Congress.
To do the analysis, the provisions contained in the HEALS Act (previously introduced by the Republicans), and the HEROES Act, which were passed by the Democrats in the House, can be used as a frame of reference.
One of the most novel aspects of both proposals is that payments for dependents would not be limited to minors up to 16 years of age, as in the case of the approved CARES Act. Both the HEALS and HEROES Act establish that university students and dependent adults are also credit would apply.
In the case of the Democratic law, the minimum payments to individuals would be $ 1,200; the same amount would apply to each dependent up to a maximum of three. As for the other legislation, the difference is that the amount per dependent would be $ 500, although it does not specify the number of those that can be claimed.
Although these grants were designed to provide additional relief to Americans affected by the pandemic, citizens living outside the United States also qualify under both proposals. This without counting, the eligibility of citizens in US territories such as Puerto Rico and Guam.
In the latter cases, however, the local authorities are in charge of distributing the money; not the federal government. Under the CARES Act, these groups were included.
However, they have experienced delays in the distribution of funds since, among other things, they must wait for authorization from the US authorities to adjust their systems.
Non-citizens who pay taxes
Under both the CARES Act and the HEALS Act, potential recipients need to have a Social Security number to receive payment; not so in the case of HEROES Act.
This last legislation provides for people who are not citizens but who pay taxes with a ITIN or Taxpayer Identification Number are eligible for assistance.
That lack in the Republican Senate plan has sparked questioning from activists who criticize the fact that the HEALS Act leaves behind 21 million immigrants who pay their taxes.