This week, the House Democrats issued a revised version of its original bill, the HEROES (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act), to provide coronavirus relief to millions of Americans. The new bill, named the updated HEROES Act, aims to provide additional unemployment payments, a second-round of stimulus, and student loan relief. While the bill’s cost is $1.2 trillion cheaper than the first, its goal is to work with Republicans to pass the bill.
Second round of stimulus payments
If this bill passes, Americans can expect a second-round of stimulus payments. The bill proposes a direct payment to individuals for $1,200 ($2,400 if married) and $500 for each qualified dependent. Unlike the first round of stimulus payments, this bill proposes different criteria for the stimulus payments. First, all dependents would be considered eligible for the additional $500 despite age. Next, back child support would not reduce stimulus payments. Finally, individuals would only need a taxpayer identification number instead of a social security number to qualify.
Student loan relief
Similar to the previous CARES Act, borrowers would be able to obtain relief from payments during this time. The bill proposes to extend this relief period to September 30, 2021, thus giving borrowers more time before repaying student loans. Currently, certain loans are deferred until December 31, 2020. The bill also updates which loans would qualify for relief by broadening more types of loans that are eligible.
Additional $600 unemployment payments
The current unemployment rate is approximately 8% in the United States, which is a significant concern. The updated HEROES Act proposes to extend the $600 unemployment payment to jobless individuals. The proposed unemployment benefits are retroactive, starting September 6 and ending January 31 for those still out of work. As such, individuals will qualify for previous payments.
The bill will need to pass both the House and Senate for individuals to receive the relief. While the House is hopeful they can have something in place before the upcoming election, the Senate will need to come on board. If the bill does not obtain the Senate’s support, time may be running out to have a relief package in place before the upcoming election.