4th stimulus payment update, $2,000 check petition and 2021 relief money. Here’s the latest

Although stimulus checks during the pandemic have been well-received, Congress doesn’t seem to be considering another one. On July 15, roughly 36 million eligible families are scheduled to receive their first advance monthly payment of up to $300 per kid with the 2021 child tax credit, which will bring some immediate financial relief. But June’s bipartisan infrastructure deal didn’t include any additional aid for individuals or families.

Some lawmakers had called for more stimulus money during the spring. Now, however, many in Washington argue that it’s less of a priority due to signs of a post-lockdown economic rebound — like new jobless claims dropping to the lowest since last year. At the same time, demands for payments are gaining public support. With over 2.5 million signatures, a Change.org petition states: “The true unemployment rate for low-wage workers is estimated at over 20% and many people face large debts from last year for things like utilities, rent and child care.”

So what does this mean for the fate of a fourth stimulus check? We’ll explain below. As for other money matters, the federal expansion of the child tax credit gives parents the option of receiving monthly checks this year or one lump sum for up to $3,600 per kid in 2022. Here’s how to check on your tax refund if you haven’t received it yet and what to know about the unemployment tax break. We continue to update this story.

What about the petition for recurring $2,000 checks?

A current Change.org petition that has collected more than 2.5 million signatures calls on Congress to send out a fourth stimulus check of $2,000 for adults and $1,000 for children on a monthly basis for the pandemic’s remainder. The petition notes that “the recovery hasn’t reached many Americans” and points to the need for immediate checks and recurring payments so that “we can keep our heads above water.”

According to a recent study, the first three stimulus checks helped reduce hardships like food insufficiency and financial instability. So far during the pandemic, eligible adults have received a max of $3,200 and children have received $2,500. For many struggling families, that’s not enough to bounce back from lost wages and benefits. While the Change.org petition is close to becoming one of the most popular on its website, whether it will have any effect is another question.

What about stimulus money proposals this year?

Since the American Rescue Plan became law in March, the White House proposed two packages — the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan — neither of which called for more stimulus aid. On June 3, a White House press conference indicated that efforts would focus on the infrastructure spending package. President Joe Biden is “open to a range of ideas” regarding stimulus aid, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, but he already put forward what would be “the most effective for the short term.”

The new scaled-back compromise of the bipartisan infrastructure deal, which the White House announced on June 24, doesn’t include anything related to “human infrastructure” — it doesn’t address child care, improved wages or job training. At the same time, the announcement states, “President Biden remains committed to the comprehensive agenda laid out in the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan.”

It’s been some months since Democratic members of the House and Senate argued for another stimulus check. In late March, a group of lawmakers asked Biden to include regular stimulus payments in his next stimulus package. In May, several members of the House Ways and Means Committee made a similar request. Citing increased poverty and spiraling debt among Americans, they noted that “most people spent relief checks on monthly expenses or essentials such as food, utilities, rent and mortgage payments.”…Read more>>


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