Families have been given thousands of dollars each since the start of the pandemic.
The term “stimulus check” was something Americans first started to understand in relation to the federal government.
When the pandemic first began, the government sent qualifying families a check, followed by two more.
Later on, states and cities started sending stimulus payments to residents by using stimulus aid given directly to them by the government.
Related: Monthly $1,200 stimulus checks for undocumented workers could become permanent thanks to expanded Excluded Workers Fund
Stimulus checks explained
This past March, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Act, which also paid qualifying Americans stimulus aid.
In order to have qualified for the last check, you must not be a dependent of another taxpayer, have a SSN, not have income exceeding $80,000 if single, $120,000 if head of household, or $160,000 if married.
The last round began to phase out at $75,000 for income, but when you hit $80,000 you became ineligible.
Related: Millions received the unemployment tax refund on $10,200 in unemployment, but here’s how to check the status if yours is missing
How many checks have gone out in all?
Three rounds of checks have been sent to Americans so far.
The first was worth $1,200 and went to low income households in 2020.
The second payment at the end of 2020/beginning of 2021 was worth $600.
The third payment was worth $1,400.
In all, the IRS has sent 163.5 million checks worth $390 billion in the third round of checks.
Many are still owed that $1,400.
It’s expected that millions will probably qualify for an owed stimulus check in 2021, specifically new parents and those living outside of the country.
In 2020 162 million checks were issued, and during the second round of checks 147 million were sent out.
Other types of stimulus checks
States and cities have stepped up to send out their own stimulus checks to residents.
These states include California and Maine.
California is currently distributing batches of their Golden State Stimulus II checks worth up to $1,100.
The checks will be going out in batches roughly every two weeks and will be sent up until Jan. 11, 2022.
Maine is sending its residents $285 checks between now and the end of t he year.
Santa Ana in California has committed to delivering prepaid Visa debit cards worth $300 to some of the poorest neighborhoods.
What about a fourth stimulus check?
A fourth check from the federal government is unlikely to happen right now.
The Build Back Better bill doesn’t have a provision for a fourth stimulus check and the White House Secretary was quoted as saying previous checks “were not free.”
The current state of the economy no longer calls for stimulus checks, according to the government.
Despite this, many Americans do not agree and feel that they are still struggling due to the impact the pandemic had on them.
FingerLakes1.com is the region’s leading all-digital news publication. The company was founded in 1998 and has been keeping residents informed for more than two decades. Have a lead? Send it to [email protected].