Third stimulus check news summary: 22 March 2021
Stimulus check live updates - Monday 22 March
- Nearly 160 million US households will receive $400 billion in direct payments of up to $1,400 per person (why is mine being mailed?)
- President Biden talks of two major goals: 100 million vaccine shots "in arms" and 100 million stimulus checks "in pockets"
- IRS chief warns that child tax credit payments could be delayed
- Over 90 million stimulus checks already distributed, per IRS update last week
- Federal Trade Commission warns of stimulus check phishing scam
- 58% of stimulus check money will be spent on food, research finds
- You can track the status of your stimulus check via the IRS Get My Payment Tool
- US covid-19 cases/deaths: 29.86 million/542,888 (live updates)
Further related reading:
Biden in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday as 'Help is Here' tour continues
President Joe Biden will deliver remarks in Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday as he continues to tour the US promoting the benefits of his $1.9tn coronavirus relief package.
Eligible Americans across the country have begun to receive a third stimulus check as part of Joe Biden's Rescue Plan, but could another payment be on its way soon?
US could return to full employment in 2022 on back of Biden stimulus package - Yellen
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will paint an optimistic picture for the US economy as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, telling lawmakers on Tuesday that she sees both growth and possibly full employment next year - due to President Joe Biden's coronavirus stimulus package.
Yellen, in written testimony prepared for delivery to the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, said that with passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, "I am confident that people will reach the other side of this pandemic with the foundations of their lives intact. And I believe they will be met there by a growing economy. In fact, I think we may see a return to full employment next year."
Yellen said the Treasury, tasked with implementing much of the Biden stimulus plan and distributing the funds, was working to expedite relief to the areas of greatest need, including the smallest of small businesses, which are disproportionately owned by women and people of color.
The Treasury also is reducing some documentation requirements for struggling Americans to receive funds to help them make housing rental and mortgage payments in an effort to speed the implementation of a $30 billion housing aid plan. "We're cutting through the red tape for them, while still taking reasonable steps to prevent fraud and abuse," Yellen said.
Treasury is also working closely with state, local, tribal and territorial governments to implement $350 billion in aid to them, she said. Treasury officials said last week that the state and local government aid program, which is still setting rules on the use of funds, would start distributing money within about 60 days.
(Reuters; photo: REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo)
How are people spending their $1,400 stimulus checks
The $1,400 checks from the American Rescue Plan have been hitting bank accounts across the country, Mother Jones asked its readers to how they are spending their new found boost to their bank accounts.
Can you receive both the Child Tax Credit and unemployment benefits?
The American Rescue Plan enhanced and expanded the Child Tax Credit, making available to more Americans with lower incomes by removing the earnings floor.
Bill Kristol gives advice to Biden & Harris on PR for stimulus
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses are crisscrossing the US to promote the American Rescue Plan Act to the American public. The plan is already extremely popular among the US public but Biden and Democrats don’t want the GOP to take the narrative about the package out of their hands as was done with the relief bill passed by Democrats in 2009.
The Child Tax Credit squeaked in to the American Rescue Plan
The new tax provision is temporary, lasting only for the 2021 fiscal year. However there is already talk of trying to make it permanent in the next spending bill coming down the line. The enhanced Child Tax Credit will more than double the refundable portion of the credit and provide monthly checks starting in July for up to $300 per child under 6 and $250 per child under 18. It could also nearly halve child poverty with the removal of the earnings floor of $2,500.
Healthcare to get a stimulus under American Rescue Plan Act
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) gives states an additional financial incentive to expand Medicaid, strengthens coverage for current enrollees, and helps states weather the covid-19 public health and economic crises. The ARPA will give a significant financial incentive to 14 states that haven’t yet implemented the Medicaid expansion to do so.
Find out how else the ARPA will help states leverage the new funding and options with this report from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
Adult dependents can expect a $1,400 stimulus check, if...
One group left out of 2020 stimulus checks can look forward to a $1,400 stimulus check in 2021, adult dependents. The American Rescue Plan calls for adult dependents to receive the latest round of stimulus payments. That is if the person claiming them on their tax return meets the income eligibility requirements.
Can you receive a stimulus check and unemployment benefits?
The American Rescue Plan Act enacted in March will extend unemployment benefits through Labor Day and send $1,400 stimulus checks to eligible recipients. Just because you receive one doesn't mean you can't receive the other.
Read the full story:
Stimulus bill will save retirement funds for millions
More than one million workers and retirees in the country were facing the prospect of losing the promised benefits they earned in a lifetime of work if multiemployer pensions had been allowed to fail. Hope is finally on the horizon thanks to President Biden and his American Rescue Plan.
The American Rescue Plan will keep these plans solvent and funded for 30 years with no cuts to the earned benefits of participants and beneficiaries. Read the op-ed by Tom Perez on how the American Rescue Plan protects workers and pensions.
Under the American Rescue Plan, the typical family of four is getting a $5,600 check. That money helps folks keep a roof over their head and put food on the table. Help is here.
IRS releases examples of what stimulus checks and EIP cards will look like
The IRS in a news release on Monday said that the agency has sent out the second wave of direct stimulus payments. This batch of payments will have an official pay date of Wednesday 24 March, however some people may see these in their accounts earlier, potentially as provisional or pending deposits. The IRS also provided those expecting a payment by mail just what the envelop, check or EIP debit card would look like.
How will you spend your $1,400 stimulus check?
Madisonians share how they plan to spend their $1,400 stimulus checks with Logan Wroge and Shanzeh Ahmad from the Wisconsin State Journal.
Over half a million homeless may not see a $1,400 stimulus check
People experiencing homelessness are at risk of not receiving the latest payment. It’s not that they aren’t eligible, it’s that they don’t have access to an address, a bank account or just don’t file a tax return due to their low income. Because the government uses tax information to identify and send payments, many unhoused people who don't file taxes won't receive a $1,400 stimulus check. There are solutions and you may be able to help.
Read how you can make a difference via CNN.
Payments after 24 March are likely to be physical stimulus checks
A statement from the IRS confirms that they expect all direct deposit stimulus check payments to have been made by Wednesday 24 March, before moving on to the physical stimulus checks and Economic Impacy Payment debit card distributions.
Second wave of stimulus checks will be paid on 24 March
A White House statement has confirmed a distribution date for the second wave of stimulus check payments, which will include both direct deposits and physical checks.
“For taxpayers receiving direct deposit, this batch of payments began processing on Friday and will have an official pay date of Wednesday, March 24, with some people seeing these in their accounts earlier, potentially as provisional or pending deposits,” the statement read.
“A large number of this latest batch of payments will also be mailed, so taxpayers who do not receive a direct deposit by March 24 should watch the mail carefully in the coming weeks for a paper check or a prepaid debit card, known as an Economic Impact Payment Card, or EIP Card.”
These will be the third stimulus checks provided by the federal government since the start of the pandemic and are the largest to date. The first, coming nearly exactly a year ago, were worth $1,200 while a second round worth $600 was included in December’s emergency relief bill.
As well as the amounts on offer, the eligibility requirements have changed for the latest round of payments with some who have received them in the past missing out. However other groups stand to get the money for the first time.
White House stimulus tour continues in Birmingham
The First Lady will be in Birmingham, Alabama tomorrow as the Bidens' charm offensive in support of the new stimulus bill continues. Due to the immense cost of the stimulus checks, infrastructure projects, benefits spending and medical expenses included in the package, the President is eager to drum home its importance.
At an event in New Hampshire last week, Jill Biden told those gathered in a local school: “This school, like schools across the country, can’t fully reopen without help. So today, I’m here to tell you, with the American rescue plan. Help is here.”
IRS boss believes new Child Tax Credits will go live in July
One of the key inclusions in the new stimulus bill, the expansion of the Child Tax Credit programme, appears unlikely to start until July as the IRS looks to distribute the third stimulus checks and complete tax returns before doing so.
The new measure would see monthly payments worth up to $300 per child sent to eligible families, but Charles Rettig told a House Committee that he does not believe they currently have to capability to roll out this huge programme.
A group of progressive Democrat lawmakers including Reps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar have signed a letter calling for ongoing direct support in the form of stimulus checks:
"Another one-time round of checks would provide a temporary lifeline, but when that money runs out, families will once again struggle to pay for basic necessities. One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis."
While recurring stimulus payments did not end up in the final bill, a fourth round of stimulus checks or recurring payments would clearly have significant support and there are reasons to believe that more could be agreed in future.
Stimulus checks will be worth thousands to families
After spending much of the last week travelling the country to extoll the virtues of the new stimulus bill, President Biden is using his @POTUS Twitter account to push the benefits of the huge legislative package.
The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was criticised as being excessive by the Republicans when it was first introduced, but polling suggets that around three-quarters of the population support the spending. Included in the bill are stimulus checks worth up to $1,400 per person and an expanded Child Tax Credit.
Rev Warnock thanks Georgia voters for third stimulus checks
The Georgia Senate runoff races were billed as pivotal for President Joe Biden's time in office, and in flipping both Republican seats the Democrats were handed unified control in Congress. That was vital to allow them to push through Biden's American Rescue Plan, which was a much more generous stimulus bill than would have othewise been possible.
The $1,400 stimulus checks, Child Tax Credits and boosted unemployment benefits were all included in the bill, and there are already plans to extend the tax credit programme indefinitely.
Monthly Child Tax Credits unlikely to arrive soon
IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig has admitted that the IRS will not be able to begin distribution of the new monthly Child Tax Credit payments until after the third stimulus checks have been sent out and the 2021 tax season ends. Adressing the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday, Rettig said:
“I don’t have the resources to devote to that portal until the filing season ends,” before adding, “It might be a challenge to get it monthly right out of the box.”
However Rettig did point out that the final bill passed by Congress only states that the new system will include periodic payments, rather than specifically mentioning monthly payments. This gives the IRS some flexibility on the exact structure of the support for the early stages.
“We’re focused on trying to get these payments out to the people in a meaningful manner and a meaningful timeframe,” said Rettig.
Third stimulus check tracker will give you updates on your payment
As the IRS battles to get the $1,400 direct payments out to the estimated 160 million eligible Americans, many are wondering how long it will be until their's arrives. The first 90 million stimulus check payments were sent out last week but a number of major high street banks like Wells Fargo reported problems with their online banking services.
If this happened to you you can check on the status of your stimulus check by using the IRS' online tracker, which should let you know when your money has been deposited.
Dems considering using reconciliation to extend Child Tax Credit boost
Sen Michael Bennet (D-Col) has said that he would be willing to use the reconiliation process to bypass the US Senate’s filibuster rule in order to extend the Child Tax Credit expansion beyond 2022. As it stands, the new programme with monthly payments worth up to $300 per child is only due to last for 12 months.
“It may even be in this next reconciliation package that we’re able to get it done there,” Bennet said during a Colorado Sun virtual event. “It’s certainly eligible for that.”
Stimulus bill passing may be "Biggest Day Ever" for American Children
Actress Oliva Wilde has shared an advertisements from the New York Times, which asks if the passing of the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill constitutes the "biggest day ever" for American children. Included in the package are stimulus checks, extended unemployment benefits and a revolutionary new Child Tax Credit which are projected to half childhood poverty across the US.
Stimulus check news: every article
You'll find a range of articles offering up-to-date information on the third round of stimulus checks, and the possibility of a fourth, in our dedicated section on direct payments.
The IRS has based eligibility for the third stimulus check on the information the agency had on file when the payments were made; this could be from your tax filing in 2019 or 2020.
The worst ways you can spend your stimulus check
Forbes personal-finance expert Zack Friedman has put together a list of the five worst ways you can spend your stimulus check, as the IRS sends out payments to nearly 160 million US households.
Amid a surge in stock-market investments linked to people receiving their direct payment, Friedmann warns Americans against going down this route “unless you’re a seasoned investor”.
He adds: “If you simply must invest your stimulus check in the stock market, understand you could lose some or all of your stimulus check.”
Over 5 percent of Americans don't have a bank account, according to a 2019 study by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. For stimulus-check recipients in this situation, there are several possible ways to change their paper check into another form so that they can use the funds to make purchases or pay off bills.
The American Rescue Plan included a ground-breaking change to the Child Tax Credit programme, which was intended to reverse the worrying trend of increased childhood poverty since the pandemic began.
The new provision would see eligible parents and guardians sent up to $3,600 per year, with the support coming in the form of monthly direct deposits.
However there are now fears that the overworked IRS may be unable to implement the new proposal for months as they battle through a backlog of tax returns and stimulus check payments.
Most people's stimulus payment will be made by ACH, which stands for 'Automated Clearing House' - a computer-based electronic network for processing financial transactions. It is basically another way of saying direct deposit.
History repeats itself as Republicans seek to take credit for stimulus bill
In an article entitled “Biden’s Covid stimulus bill brings out GOP hypocrisy once again”, MSNBC columnist Dean Obeidallah notes that recent examples of Republican lawmakers seeking to take credit for the $1.9tn package - despite none voting for it in Congress - is reminiscent of President Obama’s $787bn relief bill in 2009.
Obeidallah cites research by ThinkProgress, which found that a total of 114 Republicans sought to gain credit for Obama’s plan just over a decade ago, despite only three GOP senators backing the legislation and not a single House Republican voting for it.
“It was Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who perfectly summed up the GOP’s political dishonesty when it comes to Democratic spending bills in six words,” Obeidallah writes. “Republicans ‘vote no and take the dough.’”
For direct-deposit recipients of the third stimulus check, "IRS TREAS 310 - TAX EIP3" appears to be the payment reference to look out for.
Recipients of Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income or Veterans Affairs benefits are eligible for a third stimulus check.
Stimulus checks go to paying bills, loans as nearly one in four households report drop in income amid pandemic - research
A consumer survey carried out this month by TransUnion has found that 38% of American households are continuing to suffer a drop in income amid the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although this is a 15-point decrease on March 2020, CBS cites TransUnion’s head of global research and consulting, Charlie Wise, as describing the current level as stubbornly high.
Only 13% of respondents to the survey said this fall in income was down to something other than someone in the household losing their job, being furloughed, having their working hours reduced or seeing their business shut down/lose custom.
TransUnion’s research also indicates that three-quarters of those whose income has dropped are worried about their ability to pay bills and loans, with a large number of consumers using their stimulus check to meet such obligations.
“More than a third (39%) of all middle and low-income consumers plan to use stimulus checks to pay their current bills or loans,” TransUnion says in its report.
The American Rescue Plan provides a refundable tax credit of up to $3,000 per child aged six to 17 and up to $3,600 per child under the age of six.
Yes, you can.
For eligible families with children, the direct-payment and child-tax-credit schemes in President Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill offer significant financial aid: put together, they provide a potential $5,000 per child, in addition to parents’ own stimulus check.
Stimulus checks see surge in stock-market investments
A New York Times report has looked into the role of the third round of stimulus checks in a recent surge in small-scale share investments, citing Deutsche Bank analysis that says as much as $170bn from the latest batch of payments could make it into the stock market.
The Times talks to 28-year-old musician Abraham Sanchez, who used most of his $1,400 stimulus check to buy 80 shares in AMC Entertainment, and has so far seen his investment translate into a $120 profit.
“I was like: ‘You know what? Whatever. I’ll give it a shot,” Sanchez told the newspaper of his decision to dip into the stock market with his stimulus check.
As the IRS sends out a third round of stimulus checks to nearly 160 American households, recipients can use the body's Get My Payment tool to check the progress of their direct payment.
The American Rescue Plan will be sending more help to families with children in 2021 through an enhanced Child Tax Credit, providing monthly payments.
US may be "on the brink" of complete recovery - Richmond Federal Reserve chief
The US economy may be "on the brink of completing the recovery" from the recession triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Richmond Federal Reserve President Thomas Barkin said on Sunday, although risks remain for some workers.
"Vaccines are rolling out, and case rates and hospitalizations are falling. Excess savings and fiscal stimulus should help fund pent-up demand from consumers freed by vaccines and warmer weather," Barkin said in remarks prepared for delivery on Sunday evening to a Credit Suisse conference on investment in Asia.
"With this support, the economy has come most of the way back," he said, with the recently enacted $1.9 trillion coronavirus federal relief program fueling a jump in household incomes and savings that helps offset the still-deep loss of jobs.
"I am hopeful that we are on the brink of completing the recovery," Barkin said.
(Reuters; photo: REUTERS/Ann Saphir/File Photo)
Eligible Americans across the country have begun to receive a third stimulus check as part of Joe Biden's Rescue Plan, but could another payment be on its way soon?
GOP senator reminded that first two stimulus checks also sent to prisoners
As Republicans lambast the Democrats for sending stimulus checks to prisoners as part of President Biden’s $1.9tn relief bill, Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday confronted GOP Senator Tom Cotton over the fact that checks also went to inmates in the first two rounds of direct payments under Republican former President Donald Trump. “That was obviously never Congress’ intent,” Cotton responded.
President Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus bill extends unemployment benefits until 6 September, providing a $300 booster to the compensation out of work Americans can receive.
As the IRS rushes to get eligible recipients their stimulus checks of up to $1,400, you may find that yours is coming in the mail.
Americans who have a newborn child in 2021 may be eligible for an additional $1,400 stimulus check when they file their income tax return in 2022.
Keep your stimulus check safe from scammers
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is urging Americans to beware of thieves trying to trick them out of their stimulus check. The IRS will only ever get in touch with you via post, so never share personal information if someone contacts you via email, text, the telephone or social media.
“Shots in arms and money in pockets”
Speaking on Sunday, President Joe Biden outlined the goal of getting 100 million vaccines and 100 million stimulus checks distributed over the next 10 days, as he championed the impact of a $1.9tn relief bill which, he said, “is already doing what it was designed to do”.
“Over the next 10 days, we will reach two goals, two giants goals,” Biden said. “The first is: 100 million shots in people’s arms will have been completed in the next 10 days. And 100 million checks in people’s pockets in the next 10 days.
“Shots in arms and money in pockets - that’s important. The American Rescue Plan is already doing what it was designed to do: make a difference in people’s everyday lives.”
Third stimulus check live updates: welcome
Hello and welcome to our daily live blog bringing you the latest updates on the third round of stimulus checks, which is being sent out as part of President Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief package.
We'll also offer up-to-date info on further provisions of the bill such as the expanded child tax credit and enhanced unemployment benefits, as well as looking ahead to a possible fourth stimulus check.