Understanding what the HEALS Act is all about Understanding what the HEALS Act is all about

Understanding what the HEALS Act is all about

There are two proposals on the table: a Democrat and a Republican. The GOP's new stimulus package, the HEALS Act, is in full negotiation while the HEROES Act, which was passed in May by the House of Representatives, has not been retaken by the Senate. What does the Republican package that is being analyzed propose? 

What benefits are proposed in the new stimulus package

On Monday, July 27th,  the Republicans' proposal for a new relief bill was finally known. The Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act was introduced by the GOP Senators and here is what it contains.

Republican senators officially presented their $ 1 trillion proposal for the next economic stimulus on Monday afternoon. In it, they included financial aid of $ 1,200 dollars for those who earn up to $ 75,000 a year, the same limit that was included in the Cares Act that was approved in March.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, unveiled the bill that will still have to be negotiated with Democrats. The Republican package includes at least these five measures for economic recovery.

Federal unemployment benefit

Workers who have lost their jobs would begin to receive $ 200 a week from August 1 - and until October 5, compared to the $ 600 a week they received so far thanks to the Cares Act. As of October 6, and until December 31, 2020, the unemployed would receive from the Federal Government 70% of the salary they lost or their base amount (prior to any reduction or compensation).

Stimulus checks
In its second section, the republican plan includes the much-requested second stimulus check that contemplates the same amounts and income threshold as the Cares Law and that would also be considered tax refund. Initial information does not include whether undocumented taxpayers or their spouses will receive financial aid this time.

Individual tax filers would receive $ 1,200 per adult if they earn $ 75,000 or less per year. Couples who do it together - and who earn less than $ 150,000 annually - would receive double ($ 1,200 each). They would also receive $ 500 dollars for each dependent but, unlike the previous package, regardless of age.

SEE ALSO:  For many families, the second stimulus check will be greater than the first

Employment creation

The Conservative Senators Bill includes business tax exemptions such as an improved employee hiring and retention payroll tax credit, an expansion of the job opportunity credit, a safe and healthy workplace tax credit, and COVID assistance -19 for independent workers.


Focused on patients, elderly and young people in foster care; This section promotes their access to health care and services and provides emergency support against the coronavirus for nursing homes.

Liability Protection

Liability Protection would be provided to health-care providers, schools, and employers that would limit lawsuits brought against them for exposure to the coronavirus. Gross negligence would still be subject to legal claims.

The HEALS Act will require Democratic support in both chambers to be passed, and negotiations with Democrats are expected to begin over what a final deal may look like. This bill looks very different when compared to the House Democratic HEROS Act introduced in May.

Who is eligible for the new stimulus check?

The Republican proposal for the next relief package, called the HEALS Act, is finally on the table and it includes a second stimulus check. Which Americans will be eligible for the direct payment if the bill passes as is?

The HEALS Act pushed by Senate Republicans to send new financial aid would follow the payment guidelines established in the CARES Act, although there is a change that will add new beneficiaries.

The proposal has barely begun to be discussed with Democrats, who - among other things - could seek to integrate US couples of undocumented immigrants as beneficiaries, something that was left out by the CARES Act, and that now even has support from some Republicans.

If Democrats fail to expand the criteria, which is what they proposed in the HEROES Act passed last May, people qualifying for a check  would be the following:

1. A person with an adjusted gross income of less than $ 75,000 would receive $1200. From there - and up to an annual gross income of $99,000- the amount will be progressively reduced.

2. Head of household earning less than $ 146,500 annually

3. A couple filing a joint tax return without children and earning less than $ 198,000 annually

4. A dependent of any age (the previous aid included only children under 17).

5. Students under 24 years old

It should be noted that the HEALS Law excludes people in prison.

An important fact is that the banks will not be able to retain the money to pay any outstanding debt of the account holders.

The bill is expected to be approved no later than the following week, so the money could be sent in mid-August, but for this, both parties must agree on issues that may be difficult and to which they have referred to as dealbreakers.

26 million more stimulus checks will be sent than before 

The new Republican relief package proposal, known as the HEALS Act, was introduced Monday night and one of the most celebrated announcements by Americans was the inclusion of a second $ 1,200 stimulus check for more people than the first round of payments.

According to the IRS, about 159 million people in the US received the first check that was given. If the HEALS Act passes as currently proposed, tens of millions of Americans who previously did not receive payment may be eligible to receive a check.

As you may recall, with the CARES Act, citizens only received an additional $ 500 for their children under the age of 17. Those over the age of 17 did not receive this amount, nor could they be eligible for a $ 1,200 stimulus check. This excluded millions of college students from government-given financial support.

However, now, with the HEALS Act, consideration is being given to sending an additional payment of $ 500 for each child, regardless of their age, which means that at least 26 million more people will qualify for financial support from the government.

The HEALS Act payments would be based on tax returns made in 2018 or 2019, and up to $ 1,200 will be released to individuals earning less than $ 75,000. $ 2,400 will also be awarded to couples who collectively earn less than $ 150,000.

This relief bill, however, continues to leave out immigrants without legal status, their spouses (if they file together), and their children born in the US. In addition to the Democratic proposal to include these people in the next direct payment, there is also pressure from within the Republican party to do so. This would further increase the number of checks issued.

It remains to be seen what happens regarding this issue when both parties discuss this point.

Could businesses have a second shot at Paycheck Protection Program loans?

Entrepreneurs who are struggling and took a federal Paycheck Protection Program loan may get a second infusion of cash if they are running out of funding.

Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Susan Collins sponsor a measure included in the HEALS Act that proposes another round of coronavirus relief funding. 

The measure, which is dubbed the Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection Act, would permit certain small-business owners to borrow from the program a second time.

The allure of the program that started on April 3 is that the loans are forgivable if borrowers spend at least 60% of the proceeds on payroll costs. Those who fall short may be eligible for partial forgiveness.

With a surge of Covid-19 cases and many small businesses facing the prospect of additional closures in many states, after they’ve run out of their first round of PPP funding, a second loan would be of great help.

New conditions 

The Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection sets conditions for applicants.

a)    They can’t have more than 300 employees 

b)     they must demonstrate at least a 50% reduction in gross receipts in the first or second quarter of this year compared to last year.

Usually, borrowers may receive a loan of up to 2.5 times their average total monthly payroll costs in the year prior to the loan, up to $2 million.

Those who take a second draw of PPP funds are also eligible for loan forgiveness for expenditures incurred before Jan. 1, 2021. 

Borrowers must still commit at least 60% of the money toward payroll expenses in order to get full forgiveness.
The proposed legislation also destines second-round funding for the smallest businesses: $25 billion for companies with less than 10 employees.

These two changes seek to keep funding away from firms that don’t otherwise fit the bill, as well as scammers. 
Borrowers would have until Dec. 31 to apply if the proposal is accepted.

Do immigrants without legal status qualify for the $ 1,200 stimulus check

Little by little, the details of the new relief bill proposal of the republicans are becoming known. What does the HEALS Act say about Americans who are married to immigrants with no legal status?

Despite a tendency within Republican congressmen to include undocumented American couples and their US-born children in the new stimulus package, agreed with the White House, rules out giving the $ 1,200 to nearly two million people.

The same omission, which occurred last March with the CARES Law, led to demands that have not yet had a concrete response. So Democrats led by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (California) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (New York) sought to amend the gap in the HEROES Act, which provides for spouses of undocumented immigrants and their American children.

Senate leader Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) not only dismissed the Democratic proposal, but he also rejected the request of his colleagues Marco Rubio (Florida) and Thom Tillis (North Carolina) to grant the right to those families.

The American Coalition of Pro-Immigration Companies (APIC) pushed for the inclusion of these Americans, but they were also not heard and are now demanding Republican senators in their respective states John Cornyn (Texas), Rick Scott (Florida) Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), Cory Gardner (Colorado) and Martha McSally (Arizona) to push for profit.

The new stimulus plan practically copies the conditions of the CARES Law, establishing that only taxpayers with a Social Security number can apply for the benefit that will be distributed by the Treasury Department.

HEALS Act: How the IRS will send the new $ 1,200 financial stimulus check

After months of waiting, the Republican proposal for a new stimulus package has finally been unveiled and it includes a vital lifeline for many Americans: a second $1200 stimulus check. How will it be sent?

A new stimulus check has now been confirmed and the amount and income threshold follow the criteria of the CARES Act. There is a change, anyway in who it considers as eligible dependents. Unlike the bill passed in March, this new legislation would include dependents regardless of age, thus including children over 17, college students under 24, and older people.

Therefore, people who make $ 75,000 a year or less, for example, received the full amount, and people who make more than $ 75,000 and from that amount - and up to an annual gross income of $ 99,000- the amount will be progressively reduced.

People who earn more than $ 100,000 a year did not qualify for payment.

The transfer could be similar to the plan used for the previous stimulus check, but an option may be added: the money transfer applications.

The current forms that the Tax Collection Office (IRS) and other dependencies of the Treasury Department use to send the funds are:

1. Direct deposit. Those who filed their tax reports in 2018 and 2019 were made a direct deposit in their provided bank accounts. This is what the IRS encourages for it is the way Americans receive their payment faster. Information for direct deposits must be entered in the Get My Payment IRS enabled tool

2. Sending a check.  A check was sent to people who did not have a bank account, but had a physical address and also to those who presented problems with direct deposits in bank accounts.

3. Debit cards. The authority sent debit cards to more than 4 million citizens.

The Democrats' HEROES Act integrates sending payment through applications such as PayPal, but Republicans have not spoken about that option.

Following the schedule of approval of the new aid, it could begin to be sent in mid-August to the first people and it is expected that, given the problems solved with the first shipment, more citizens and families will receive their payment faster.

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