While the stimulus bill is still a work in progress, there are a number of provisions in both bills that you can count on passing. But the reality for the average Jane or Joe is that there's not much there you'll find in your pocket immediately.
The largest amount of direct cash people will see in their account that is still in both the Senate and House bills is a tax credit of up to $500 for each worker and up to $1,000 for two-worker families.
This won't come in your mailbox as a check, however. Instead you'll either see the reduction in less tax money taken out of your paycheck each week or a credit you can write off when you file your 2009 taxes. The tax credit will be 6.2% of your earnings to offset the withholding for Social Security taxes.
Two other provisions to get immediate cash into people's pocket are targeted to the poor. One extends eligibility for the refundable portion of the child credit. People with incomes as low as $12,550 will be eligible in 2009; the eligibility level will drop to $6,000 in 2010. Congress expects this cash infusion will be spent quickly to help stimulate the economy.
Low income families will also benefit from the eligibility changes to the earned income tax credit. For low income families with three or four children that qualify, this could mean an extra $629 in their pockets.
What else is in there for the average person?