It seems like the coronavirus pandemic is not winding down, with the new Omicron variant threatening to force businesses to shut down. It’s now the third year since the pandemic struck, and Americans are wondering if there will be a 4th stimulus check and checking on a daily basis for its update. Congress passed the first round of checks in 2020, which was part of the $2.2 trillion economic relief as a response to the economic impact of COVID-19. However, it appears hopes of the fourth stimulus check are now diminishing and people keep wondering about its release date, but there are promises of other financial support packages offered via a series of programs. Read on to find out more.
What Is a Stimulus Check?
A stimulus check, also known as Economic Impact Payments, is a direct payment made to taxpayers by the U.S. government to boost their spending power. It’s a financial aid intended to stimulate economic activity by offering consumers some spending money.
Stimulus checks were used during the Great Recession in 2008 and have been used again in 2020 and 2021.
According to the U.S. government, parents of newborns, foster or adopted children (between 2021-2022) will receive a stimulus check benefit in 2022.
How Many Stimulus Checks Has the Government Issued?
So far, the government has issued three rounds of stimulus checks between March 2020 and March 2021. The first round of stimulus checks went out in March 2020, where low-income households were given $1,200 per adult and $500 per qualifying child.
The payments were made to anyone earning below the income limits, which were set at $75000. The checks were paid into people’s accounts over the weekend of 11 and 12 April through various means.
The second round went out in December 2020 and was worth $600. It was part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act that was signed off by Trump. People were also able to claim an additional $600 for child dependents aged 16 or under. Those who didn’t receive a check through the CARES Act or the December Covid-19 relief were able to claim for the payment retroactively when filing their federal tax returns for 2020 via IRS Recovery Rebate Credit.
This was followed by the third round of cash support worth $1,400 in March 2021. It was part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan signed into law by Biden. Couples filing jointly could receive a maximum of $2,800.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a total of 147 million stimulus checks have been issued under the second round, and 163.5 million stimulus checks worth around $390 billion were issued under the third round of federal stimulus.
However, reports show that some Americans might still be owed $1,400 checks.
Will There be a Fourth Stimulus Check? An Update
Discussions about a fourth stimulus check in the halls of Congress have all quieted down, although various groups are petitioning for more financial aid to American households. Previous waves of the virus have been associated with discussions of another round of stimulus checks. So, it makes sense that most Americans are expecting the new payments after the emergence of the more transmissible Omicron variant.
However, it does not look like there’s one coming soon. With the prices of food and energy hitting an all-time high and the majority of economic programs having expired, many households are now feeling the effects of high levels of inflation in the American economy.
Fourth Stimulus Check Update 2022 and Release Date: The Situation in Each State
Every state will be receiving the Federal budget to spend. How they spend the funds will depend solely on the State’s Administration. While not all states have committed to a stimulus check, some have.
California Stimulus Check Update
California stands out as the state with the only real form of stimulus checks remaining. But these are the last payments of a plan set up last year. Another state, Alaska, sends state-run dividends to its residents each year. However, these payments don't count as stimulus checks since they have been in existence for 50-odd years and aren’t associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
In California, two-thirds of residents are set to receive a Golden State stimulus check worth $600. As of October 31, 2021, 4.5 million of the over 9 million eligible residents had received their checks.
Florida Stimulus Check Update
On top of the additional $1,000 stimulus checks for around 170,000 teachers and principles last year, Florida’s 2022 budget has allocated a $1,000 bonus for teaching staff as a “Thank you” for their work throughout 2021.
Indiana Stimulus Check Update
Residents of Indiana will receive a state-funded tax refund worth $125 each when they file their 2021 tax returns. January 24 marks the first day for U.S. residents to start filing their taxes.
New York Stimulus Check Update
In New York, undocumented employees can access a $2.1 billion stimulus check fund, giving those who were unable to claim the initial two stimulus checks an opportunity to do so. To quality, you must be a state resident who earned less than $26,000 in 2020 and missed the previous checks.
Texas Stimulus Check Update
Like Florida, Texas is also focusing on educators. Individual school districts introduced various bonus schemes to encourage teachers back to the classroom, with Irving school promising a $2,000 stimulus check to teachers who returned to the classroom in September.
Many other states have some form of financial aid for their residents to help boost them financially.
Fourth Stimulus Maybe Unlikely
As things currently stand, there might not be stimulus checks in the future. According to White House secretary Jen Psaki, another round of stimulus checks wasn’t in Biden’s Plans. President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda doesn’t include stimulus payments.
On a promising note, there has been mounting pressure to release stimulus checks to U.S. residents. 50 Democratic members of the House of Representatives wrote a letter suggesting the introduction of universal basic income or recurring direct checks.
Democrats support a $2,000 fourth round of checks, although there aren’t any official bills debating this.
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