Will you get a stimulus check? If not, here are 3 ways to “get” money in the next stimulus package.

Here’s what you need to know.

Stimulus Checks

There’s a good chance that the next stimulus package will not include a second stimulus check. There are many reasons why you didn’t get a second stimulus check. Despite support from President , President-Elect Joe Biden and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Congress has not prioritized a second stimulus check in the next stimulus bill. That’s the bad news for millions of Americans. That said, the good news is that there are at least 3 other ways that you could “get” money in the next stimulus in the form of financial relief—even without a stimulus check.

1. More unemployment insurance

13 million. That’s the number of Americans who could have their unemployment insurance end if Congress doesn’t act this month through a new stimulus package. The latest $748 billion bipartisan stimulus package proposal — if it passes in its current form — could help unemployed Americans in several ways, including:

  • Weekly Unemployment Benefits: $300 a week in enhanced unemployment benefits for 16 weeks through April 19, 2021;
  • Unemployment Assistance: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits for the self-employed and independent contractors for 16 additional weeks through April 19, 2021; and
  • Unemployment Compensation: Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) for recipients whose state unemployment insurance benefits have ended would receive 16 more weeks of benefits through April 19, 2021.


2. More rent relief

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has been a leading proponent of cancelling rent and mortgage payments in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, Omar tweeted “Cancel rent and mortgage payments.” In April, Omar introduced The Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, which is congressional legislation that would institute a nationwide cancellation of residential rents and mortgage payments until the end of the pandemic. While Congress won’t cancel all rent payments in the next stimulus package, legislators are considering rent relief. For example, the stimulus package could provide rent relief in the following ways:

  • Eviction Moratorium: The federal eviction moratorium, which is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2020, would be extended one month to January 31, 2021; and
  • Rental Assistance: For renters that are behind in their monthly rental payments, the stimulus package could provide $25 billion in rental assistance.

3. More student loan relief

The new stimulus package could extend relief for your student loans through April 1, 2021. If Congress passes this stimulus package, more than 40 million student loan borrowers can continue to expect the following for their federal student loans:

  1. No payments: federal student loan payments are paused;
  2. No interest: no new interest will accrue on your federal student loan balance; and
  3. No debt collection: Student loan debt collection of defaulted student loan debt is halted.

While Trump extended this student loan relief through January 31, 2021, the next stimulus package could provide another three months of student loan relief. However, there is no plan in the stimulus package to pause private student loan payments or FFELP or Perkins Loans. Similarly, the stimulus package doesn’t contain any plans to cancel student loans or provide other wide-scale student loan forgiveness.

Next Steps

Congressional leaders are considering two separate pieces of legislation—the $748 billion stimulus bill and a $160 billion bill. Neither is guaranteed to pass, although the first stimulus bill could serve as the basis for a final stimulus package. The former includes unemployment insurance, rent relief, student loan relief and aid for small business, among other priorities. The latter includes state and local aid (which Democrats have championed) and liability protections for businesses (which McConnell and Republicans have supported). However, neither includes a second stimulus check.

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