Is a fourth stimulus check coming soon?
States are offering a fourth round of direct aid payments as the coronavirus pandemic is fueled by the unvaccinated and Delta Variant. The payments also come as the IRS faces a massive backlog of over 8 million unprocessed tax returns leaving many families cash strapped with unemployment benefits ending earlier this month.
California, Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, and Texas will all offer a fourth round of direct aid payments in form of stimulus checks.
The details of those stimulus checks varies wildly, but the idea is to reward or boost certain groups of people. While some are targeted at groups who still need assistance after being helped through federal CARES and American Rescue Plan stimulus payments, others are broad measures intended to help low- and middle-income earners.
For example, California is the only state thus far to send out true stimulus checks. The state has a budget surplus, which prompted lawmakers to move forward with $500 to $600 payments to those who make between $30,000 and $75,000 per year.
Other states, like Colorado and Maryland, are sending payments based on factors like unemployment status. Colorado will send $375 to anyone who received one unemployment payment between March 15, 2020 and October 24, 2020. Maryland has repealed all state and local taxes on unemployment benefits of $500 for families and $300 for individuals.
States like New Mexico and New York have targeted those who did not qualify for stimulus payments through the federal programs. Undocumented workers in New York who made less than $26,208 in 2020 can receive up to $15,200 in stimulus payments. New Mexico has set aside $5 million for residents who didn’t qualify for federal stimulus payments.
Will Congress finally approve a fourth stimulus check?
When President Joe Biden proposed the $3+ trillion spending plan proponents of a fourth stimulus check hoped details would be included.
As it turned out a fourth stimulus check wasn’t even included in the reconciliation bill proposed by lawmakers.
This has frustrated Democrats who are increasingly supportive of a fourth round of $2,000 stimulus payments. An online petition has received millions of signatures to encourage lawmakers who control the majority in Congress.
Some lawmakers have even proposed recurring $2,000 payments monthly to all individuals earning less than $75,000 a year.
What kind of direct aid assistance is coming if not a fourth stimulus check?
Right now the answer is ‘possibly’. See American families will likely see money sent directly to them through things like the enhanced Child Tax Credit. Democrats in Congress want to see this measure extended at least for three years. The draft spending plan would ensure families don’t have to pay any more than 7% of income for childcare. It would also federalize the paid family leave program to take that off the plate of employers.
Direct aid payments may become necessary though to avoid an eviction crisis. Eviction Lab reported that more than 500,000 landlords have filed eviction notices since March 2020. There is no federal eviction moratorium. A fourth stimulus check could go a long way to helping those facing homelessness.
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