Stimulus Control Update: Money for Families, Golden State Payments, and Other Emergency Aid

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Three stimulus checks have helped many people pay for household expenses and cover other needs during the pandemic.

Angela Lang / CNET

Washington is unlikely to approve another direct stimulus check this year. But millions of families receive monthly cash payments for child tax credit, with the next check on September 15. And, as part of the US bailout, a new child who counts as an eligible dependent this year could be eligible for that third stimulus payment of up to $ 1,400, although the money is not available. until a tax return is filed in 2022.

Meanwhile, California residents will see another round of Golden State Stimulus checks of $ 600 (or up to $ 1,100) as early as next week. There are also $ 1,000 “thank you” payments made to teachers and school staff in some states. And the IRS continues to send additional “plus-up” payments for stimulus amounts owed and tax refunds on 2020 unemployment compensation.

As households in the United States continue to grapple with financial insecurity and delta variant spurts, there is a lot of support for a fourth payment – as evidenced by a petition calling for monthly checks of $ 2,000 that have garnered more than 2.8 million signatures. But with Congress focusing on the $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill and the $ 3.5 trillion federal budget package, a fourth economic impact payment is not on the 2021 shortlist of things to approve.

We will tell you what it all means. here’s how check your tax refund if you have not yet received it and what to know about the unemployment tax relief. We update this story frequently.

What stimulus aid or relief money is coming?

Child tax credit payments for families: A temporary expansion of the child tax credit for 2021 sends eligible families up to $ 3,600 for each child – you can calculate your total here. Partial advance payments of up to $ 300 per dependent, which began this summer, are issued monthly (the next will be September 15) and last until the end of the year, with a final payment in 2022. Parents also have the option of defer advance monthly checks and instead, get a larger payment in the spring. There is no cap on the total amount of credit that a family with several children can apply for. If the credit is more than what is owed in taxes, families will receive the excess amount as a tax refund next year. In addition, low-income families may be eligible for the maximum credit. Here is more on child tax credit payment dates and eligibility.

Additional federal stimulus funds: Third stimulus payments of up to $ 1,400 are always paid out in batches to those who qualify. The IRS also sends “plus-up” payments, which are extra money making up the difference between the amount of stimulus you’ve already received (based on your 2019 return) and the amount you’re eligible to receive ( based on your 2020 update come back). Additionally, if a family member becomes a dependent in 2021, such as a newborn or foster child, they may also be eligible for a payment of $ 1,400. According to the tax agency, in order for any new eligible dependent to receive the third payment, you will need to claim a recovery refund credit on your 2021 tax return that you file in 2022.

Stimulus Payments to Californians: California has approved two rounds of state-level stimulus payments to eligible residents. Called Golden State Stimulus I and II, these payments are intended to support low-income Californians and help those facing hardship due to the pandemic, the state said. Almost two-thirds of residents are eligible for the expanded Golden State Stimulus II, which equates to a one-time payment of $ 600 (with an additional $ 500 for eligible families with children), and checks begin to be issued in September. To be eligible, you must have been a resident of California for most of 2020 and still live there, have filed a tax return for 2020, earned less than $ 75,000 (gross income and salary adjusted), have a Social Security number or an individual taxpayer. Identification number, and cannot be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.

Premium payments to educators: As part of the US bailout, state and local governments received $ 350 billion in aid. Much of this aid will go to schools, with some states deciding to pay their teachers and other school staff a “thank you” bonus of up to $ 1,000. The participating states are Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Colorado, Texas and California. It is likely that other states will approve similar funds in the future, as they have until 2024 to spend the funds.

Are there any plans for a 4th stimulus check in 2021?

The short answer is no.

The researchers found that the first three stimulus checks helped reduce hardships such as insufficient food and financial instability. So far during the pandemic, eligible adults have received a maximum of $ 3,200 and children have received up to $ 2,500. For struggling families, this is not enough to recover from lost wages and benefits.

Since American rescue plan, the White House has proposed several packages, including the American Jobs Plan and the Build Back Better agenda, but these do not call for more direct help. President Joe Biden is “open to a range of ideas” regarding stimulus aid, according to a June statement by White House press secretary Jen Psaki, but has already put forward what would be “most effective in the short term”.

The new scaled-down compromise of the $ 1,000 billion bipartisan infrastructure deal, which was agreed to in the Senate on July 28, does not include anything related to “human infrastructure” – it does not deal with custody children, better wages or better employment. coaching. Instead, these elements could be included in the proposed $ 3.5 trillion reconciliation package. The Senate took the first step towards approving the package through a budget resolution, and the House recently followed suit.

It’s been a few months since Democratic members of the House and Senate pleaded for yet another stimulus check. In late March, a group of lawmakers asked Biden to include regular stimulus payments (PDF) in his next stimulus package. In May, several members of the House Ways and Means Committee (PDF) made a similar request. Citing rising poverty and skyrocketing debt among Americans, they noted that “most people spend relief checks on monthly expenses or on essentials such as food, utilities, rent and mortgage payments “.


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What about the $ 2,000 stimulus petition?

A Change.org petition that has garnered over 2.8 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 remainder of the pandemic. The petition notes that “the recovery has not reached many Americans” and stresses the need for immediate checks and recurring payments so that “we can keep our heads above water.” As the Change.org petition is poised to become one of the most popular on its website, whether it will have any effect is another question.

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The IRS will continue to send stimulus payments until all eligible Americans have received their checks.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Could Congress approve more relief money soon?

While there is still a lot we don’t yet know and a lot to debate, there could be additional money in the pockets of Americans in the following scenarios:

If the increase in the child tax credit is made permanent: Expansion money child tax credit began this summer with monthly payments to millions of low- and middle-income families with children. In a July 7 speech, Biden called on Congress to extend the extended child tax credit until 2025. Other aspects of the U.S. plan for families related to health care costs and medical leave don’t have yet to be negotiated in the next $ 3.5 trillion Democratic spending plan.

If there is an increase in the minimum wage: Some senators continue to look for ways to increase the federal minimum wage, which is $ 7.25 an hour. Some supporters want to set the bar at an hourly wage of $ 15 an hour, and others seek to raise it only to $ 11 an hour. In recent years, many states, towns and businesses have implemented higher minimum wage increases at the federal level. However, discussion of a new national rate of $ 15 an hour has run into an obstacle in recent months, and the likelihood of its passing anytime soon is low.

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about outgoing tax refunds for those who have received unemployment benefits in 2020 and the future of federal unemployment benefits.



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