As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact health and economic factors across the nation, many Americans think that the government should be doing more to provide financial buffers for its citizens. Rumors and hopes of a fourth stimulus check for all Americans have been circulating ever since the third round of stimulus payments was approved.
Although Congress currently doesn’t have any plans to sign a fourth stimulus check into law, groups of Democratic lawmakers have urged President Biden to support a recurring payment plan. One push is for recurring $2,000 payments until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, as many families are still struggling with regular bills.
Will there be $2,000 recurring payments?
A petition on Change.org has garnered over 2.9 million signatures in favor of regular monthly payments in the amount of $2,000 per adult and $1,000 per child for the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic. This might not have any impact in Congress, but it demonstrates how many families continue to live paycheck to paycheck, and many are still behind on bills.
The COVID-19 delta variant has caused damage across the country and vaccination rates have stalled. Another argument for recurring monthly stimulus checks is that federal pandemic unemployment benefits expired on Sept. 6, which puts many families at risk of financial hardship.
Century Foundation senior fellow Andrew Stettner said, “This cliff threatens the economic recovery progress we have made by draining the economy of consumer spending, and will put millions of workers at risk of lasting hardship,” according to CBS News.
One major roadblock for this type of legislation is the fact that the Biden administration is focused on the infrastructure bills and getting them passed.
States giving stimulus payments
Although a fourth federal stimulus payment isn’t planned, some states are offering aid. California created the “Golden State Stimulus” payment, which is two rounds of assistance for low and middle-income residents who filed 2020 tax returns. Maryland also has a low-income direct payment of either $300 or $500.
Other states have offered career-specific assistance. According to CNet, Georgia, Colorado, Texas, California, Florida, Michigan, and Tennessee provided bonuses for educators. Vermont offered hazard pay to frontline workers who worked in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic as well.
Other financial assistance for American families
Some Americans also have other sources of government-sponsored aid. The child tax credit has been expanded and changed to provide monthly payments through the second half of 2021. The second half of the tax credit will be provided via tax returns filed next spring.
Some families are still waiting for their third stimulus payment of $1,400, which the IRS will continue to disburse in batches through 2021. Also, the IRS is in the process of sending plus-up payments, which adjust the amount people are eligible for based on changes in their tax information from 2019 to 2020.