You might be wondering if there is any possibility of a fourth round after the third round has ended.
No. However, some states have chosen to issue their own payments.
Instead, legislators are focusing on other financial support measures like child credit payments.
Direct payments and other pandemic assistance programs were proven to reduce food insecurity and housing costs during the pandemic. It’s unlikely that the economic recovery in spring 2020 after the pandemic would be as slow as the gradual progress it has made over the past year and a quarter.
Although some members of Congress had previously called for additional assistance for households still dealing with the financial consequences of the pandemic’s effects, there has not been any meaningful discussion at the federal level about issuing a second round of checks.
Which States Send New Stimulus checks?
Many states have sent or are sending stimulus checks to qualified residents.
California’s Golden Gate Stimulus Deal was announced in July to pay 5.7 million people. One-time payments of $600 can be made to taxpayers who earn between $30,000 and $75,000 annually. Households with dependents may also receive $500. The distribution of these payments began in September.
New York began offering one-time payments up to $15,000 to undocumented immigrant workers who couldn’t work because of the pandemic in April. The state cautions that applications are reviewed in order they are received.
New Mexico offered one-time $750 payments to more than 4,000 low income households who didn’t qualify for federal stimulus payments. This program is no longer accepting applications. Payments were made in August.
Taxpayers with qualifying income in Maryland could be eligible for up to $500. These payments were approved and processed in February 2021.
Anyone who was eligible for unemployment benefits in Colorado between March 2020 and October 2020 received an automatic $375 payment.
Other State Programs
Others have sent direct payments to selected frontline workers. In Georgia, Florida, and Minnesota, teachers received payments in 2021. Minnesotans were also able to receive bonus checks for employees at grocery stores and medical centers.
Some cases have seen additional payments from the state budgets. California’s was one example. It was funded from surplus state income tax revenue. Other state programs used federal pandemic assistance to direct money to residents.
Is Congress calling for a fourth stimulus payment?
Since spring, Capitol Hill has been quiet about the possibility of issuing additional stimulus payments.
A group of 20 Democratic senators wrote a letter to Biden in March asking for additional assistance for Americans. Instead of a one-time payment, the group suggested recurring direct payments.
The letter stated that “this crisis is far from over” and that families should have assurances that they can feed their family and have a roof over their heads.
A group of 60 Democratic House members signed a letter asking Biden to reconsider direct payments.
The letter urged for an additional package of relief that would continue to pay adults and their dependents, namely households with lower incomes. The letter requested additional direct payments to ensure eligible households receive funds faster than in previous rounds. It also asked for better outreach to inform people about their eligibility.
However, there have been a few key events since those calls to action.
Families eligible for child tax credits began receiving them first. They were to be received monthly and not all at once. These temporary adjustments to the tax credit were made to provide stable income for families with children. They are similar to the recurring payments suggested by Democratic members. The economy is in recovery mode, and payments are going to parents/caregivers, it’s unlikely that Congress or the White House will demand additional direct payments to taxpayers.
Another element is the intense fighting within Congress. Both the Senate and the House of Representatives were charged with adopting a budget and deciding whether to increase the debt ceiling. They also had to determine the spending amounts for infrastructure, social program, and other programs.
However, passing legislation in a divided Congress was a challenge. Some decisions, such as passing a budget resolution that would avoid a shutdown of the government, were dangerously close to deadlines.