Third stimulus check news summary: 1 April 2021

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Third stimulus check live updates: when will I get it, fourth round, IRS, SSI and payment

Stimulus checks live updates: Thursday 1 April 2021

Headlines:

- Social Security recipients should get stimulus check by 7 April, IRS says (full details)

- Over 75 congressional Democrats pushing for recurring fourth stimulus check (full story)

- President Biden unveiled $2tn infrastructure plan on Wednesday

- Consumer spending reaches highest since the start of the pandemic after third stimulus check

- Rollout of expanded Child Tax Credit delayed by IRS deadline extension

- Republicans seek to have $1,400 payments to inmates redirected to victims

- More than half of Americans have used their stimulus check to pay off debt

- Track the status of your stimulus check using the IRS Get My Payment Tool

- US covid-19 cases/deaths: 30.53 million/553,120 (live updates from JHU)

Related articles:

Biden

Will Biden include a fourth stimulus check in new jobs plan?

The IRS is still distributing the third direct payments, but a group of Senate Democrats are calling on Biden to introduce recurring stimulus checks in the upcoming economic package.

Full story

(Photo: REUTERS/Tom Brenner)

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

IRS Tax Return: what to do to claim missing stimulus check?

If you didn't receive either the first or the second stimulus check despite qualifying, you can claim your money in your 2020 tax return.

Find out how to claim your missing stimulus check

IRS has now sent out over 130 million stimulus checks

The IRS says it has distributed "more than 4 million more" third stimulus checks as part of its latest payment run this week, taking the total number of checks sent out to "more than 130 million".

"This batch of payments contains more than 2 million direct deposit payments (with a total value of more than $5 billion) and approximately 2 million paper check payments (with a total value of nearly $5 billion)," the IRS said in a statement on Thursday.

In total, around $335bn in stimulus checks has been sent as part of President Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill, the agency said.

IRS statement in full

Europe should match US' stimulus ambition - French finance minister

Europe should match the ambition shown by the United States with its huge new economic stimulus, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday.

The new administration of US President Joe Biden is already making payments to households under a new $1.9tn covid-19 relief package and plans to plough $2.3tn into infrastructure investments to fire up the world's biggest economy.

"Whatever we may think about it, the American stimulus plan shows ambition, and the return of US ambition is a good thing," Le Maire said in a speech at the Geneva Graduate Institute.

"The best response to US ambition isn't to fight it. It is to match it. Europe needs to challenge itself like America does," he added.

While European countries' support for their economies last year was on par with that seen in the United States, the new US stimulus dwarves the European Union's 750bn-euro ($881bn) economic recovery plan.

Though the 27-nation bloc agreed the landmark stimulus fund last summer, EU governments are still submitting detailed plans on how they aim to spend money from the fund, which many still need to ratify.

(Reuters)

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Third stimulus check: when will the IRS send them to Social Security recipients in April?

The IRS made over 127 million stimulus check payments within just 10 days of the American Rescue Plan being signed into law, but one significant group were missed out. Around 30 million beneficiaries of federal programs will have to wait at least one week more after the SSA failed to send the relevant claimants' details to the IRS. 

Most Social Security, Veterans and other recipients of federal benefits will be eligible for the third round of direct stimulus payments but the administrative problem saw millions wondering where their payments were.

The payments should be in the recipients' bank accounts by Wednesday 7 April. Here's everything you need to know to track the status of your third stimulus check. 

Read more

How to check your stimulus check status for SSI recipients

An administrative error by the SSA left an estimated 30 million Social Security claimants unable to receive their stimulus check payments for weeks, but the IRS have confirmed that they will soon be on their way. They are expected to be sent out this weekend, with payments likely to begin landing in bank accounts within the next week. 

Rep Josh Harder points to the IRS' Get My Payment tool, which will let you track the status of the payment. 

Biden considers student loan cancellation

In a bid to provide further economic stimulus and boost consumer spending, President biden is reportedly looking into the possibility of using executive powers to write off as much of $50,000 of student debt per person. The proposal has been backed by Sen Elizabeth Warren, who said it would "take a huge burden off of millions of struggling families". 

While the White House may be reluctant to incude a new round of stimulus checks in the new recovery package, this would provide considerable relief for millions of Americans and help boost spending. 

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Third stimulus check: can I track my payment by mail?

It is estimated that over 127 million Americans have now received their stimulus check, most of those payments were issued straight into individuals’ bank account by direct deposit. Around 107 million payments were sent out in this way but the remainder have been mailed out through the post – either as a paper check or on a prepaid EIP debit card.

Over 15 million paper stimulus checks (with a total value of nearly $34 billion) were mailed out by the United States Postal Service (USPS) and approximately 5 million prepaid EIP debit cards (with a total value of around $11 billion) have also been sent through the post to individuals’ home addresses – the address that is on file at the IRS.

Here's how to find out when you will get your stimulus check payment in the mail...

Read more

Widespread support for new infrastructure proposal

Next Wednesday President Biden will announce details of his new American Jobs Plan, the multi-trillion dollar infrastructure package that aims to provide a long-term boost to the jobs market. The package is not thought to include a fourth stimulus check, but has been polling with greater public approval that the recent $1.9 trillion stimulus bill. 

Senior adviser Anita Dunn wrote in a recent White House memo:  "Key components of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan are overwhelmingly popular - among a bipartisan and broad coalition."

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

Fourth stimulus check: updates on new relief bill

President Joe Biden is set to unveil his new infrastructure and economic recovery plan in Pittsburgh next Wednesday, the second part of his administration’s three-part plan to tackle the pandemic.

The American Jobs Plan is expected to provide trillions of dollars in federal funding to give the pandemic-ravaged economy a long-term boost, but there have also been calls for a fourth stimulus check to be included in the package. 

But with the focus expected to be on infrastructure investment, will the new package provide direct support for the millions of Americans who are in urgent need of assistance?

Read more

SSI stimulus checks will be processed this weekend

The IRS will finally be able to start sending out delayed stimulus check payments to around 30 million people who have not yet received their $1,400 due to an administrative error. The Social Security Administration (SSA) had failed to send claimants' details to the IRS for weeks, slowing down the process. 

"If no additional issues arise, the IRS currently expects to complete that work and to begin processing these payment files at the end of this week," the IRS said in a statement. 

States offer additional stimulus check protections

Governors in Maryland, New Jersey and Washington, and state attorneys general in Massachusetts, Nebraska and New York have introduced legislation in recent weeks to prevent residents having their stimulus checks taken to pay off outstanding debts. 

The $1,400 payments were the largest offered so far but did not include the same protections that the second round of payments included. Private debt collectors are able to seize the money to cover any unpaid credit card or medical bills, amongst other things. 

Republicans criticise Biden's stimulus spending

GOP Sen. John Kennedy has compared Biden's economic approach to that of the Chinese government as he eyes up another large-scale recovery bill, expected to cost over $2 trillion. Kennedy was one of all 50 Republican senators who voted against the American Rescue Plan and is unwilling to support another burst of federal spending. 

The new package is thought to focus on long-term projects like infrastructure development, rather than direct support in the form of a fourth stimulus check. Kennedy is also on the Senate Budget Committee and would have a say on whether any proposals could even reach the floor in the Senate. 

Growing support for recurring stimulus checks

As the IRS focuses on distributing the third stimulus check as swiftly as possible, thoughts have already moved to the next round of direct payments. But instead of a single 'fourth stimulus check', Democrats in Congress are throwing their support behind a proposal that would see monthly payments sent to eligible American. 

Sen Dick Durbin of Illinois is the latest to add his name to a proposal from Sen Ron Wyden which calls for President Joe Biden to include recurring direct payments in his economic recovery plan. Biden is expected to unveil details of the new recovery and infrastructure package next Wednesday. 

What would a fourth stimulus check do?

As congressional support for recurring stimulus checks grows, a NewsWeek report suggests that even one additional round of $1,400 direct payments could be crucial in the fight against poverty. The covid-19 pandemic has worsened wealth disparity in the US but just one more round of stimulus checks could bring over 7 million people out of poverty. 

So far 21 Senate Democrats have expressed support for a recurring stimulus check provision, and Biden is said to be considering a more progressive Build Back Better plan than originally thought. 

$6.25 billion in stimulus checks for Maryland

Congressman John Sarbanes has given a breakdown of where the $6.355 billion allocated to Maryland as part of the American Rescue Plan will go. In total, $6.25 billion will be spent on direct payments, stimulus checks to over 2.5 million Maryland households. The State will also receive $169 million for capital projects enabling work, education and health monitoring, including remote options in response to the public health emergency.

 

US military veterans stimulus checks due mid-April

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has confirmed that it is reviewing the data it has received for Veterans Affairs (VA) benefit recipients and expects to determine a payment date and provide more details soon. The IRS estimates that Economic Impact Payments for VA beneficiaries who do not regularly file tax returns could be sent out by mid-April. VA beneficiary payment information will be available in the Get My Payment tool at a future date.

US NEWS

$1,400 third stimulus check: what is "IRS TREAS 310 - TAX EIP3"?

The third stimulus check is arriving in the bank accounts of direct-deposit recipients labeled with the reference "IRS TREAS 310 - TAX EIP3", or something similar.

Further info

Dollar consolidates Q1 gains with Biden's spending plan

Backed by a $2 trillion US government spending plan, the dollar consolidated its first-quarter gains on Thursday, holding near multi-month highs. In midday trading in Europe, the dollar index was flat at 93.208 and hanging on close to a five-month high of 93.439 reached on Wednesday.

The US currency gained 3.57% against the basket of six major currencies during the first quarter of 2021, its best quarterly performance since 2018 with investors betting on a swift and robust economic recovery.

Dems hope to kickstart US economy with huge infrastructure plan

Yesterday in Pittsburgh, President Biden gave details of a massive new federal spending package, his “Build It Back Better” venture which is likely to cost over $2 trillion. Biden hopes to achieve this by raising taxes - the first tax reform since 1993 during the Bill Clinton administration. 

According to reports, tax increases will only affect households earning over $400,000 a year with the corporate tax rate increasing from 21% to 28%. Biden is also keen to restore the top personal tax rate of 39.6% from 37%. Not everyone is in agreement about hiking taxes however, Targeted Victory vice-president Matt Gorman, said, “I think raising taxes in the middle of a pandemic and economic crisis isn't just politically negligent but economically stupid”

US NEWS

Tax Filing 2021: will IRS extend deadline again?

We've already seen the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service extend the federal income tax filing due date, but could this be moved again?

Find out more

US NEWS

$1,400 third stimulus check: do I qualify for a direct payment?

The eligibility requirements for the $1,400 third stimulus check, which is being distributed as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus relief bill, are very similar to those applied to the first and second direct payments.

Full details on the eligibility requirements for the third round of stimulus checks

AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN

What states do not allow the $10,200 unemployment tax break?

There are 13 states that haven’t waived taxes on the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits, meaning taxpayers will need to pay state taxes on that income.

Full details

Fourth stimulus check would reduce US poverty by half

A fourth stimulus check would cut poverty in the United States in half, according to a study by the Tax Policy Center (TPC), a Washington DC-based think tank that provides analysis of tax issues in the US.

The TPC says that the economic-aid measures in President Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus stimulus plan, which included a third stimulus check of up to $1,400 per person, have helped push poverty in the US down from 13.7% to 8.7%.

And the body adds that sending Americans a fourth check would reduce the poverty rate further, to between 6.4% and 6.6%.

Tax Policy Center’s full report: 'How Additional Cash Payments Would Reduce Poverty'

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

IRS Tax Return: what to do to claim missing stimulus check?

Many people didn't receive their direct payment in either the first or second rounds of stimulus checks, despite being eligible. If you were one of them, don’t despair. When you file your tax return you can claim yours.

How to claim your missing stimulus check

Biden

US President Joe Biden gives a thumbs-up as he boards Air Force One to return to Washington from Pittsburgh, where he unveiled a $2tn infrastructure plan on Wednesday.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Biden says $2 trillion jobs plan rivals the space race in its ambition

President Joe Biden on Wednesday called for a sweeping use of government power to reshape the world's largest economy and counter China's rise in a $2 trillion-plus spending proposal.

The president's "American Jobs Plan" would put corporate America on the hook for the tab as the government creates millions of jobs building infrastructure, such as roads, tackles climate change and boosts human services like care for the elderly.

"It's a once-in-a-generation investment in America, unlike anything we've seen or done since we built the interstate highway system and the space race decades ago," Biden said in unveiling the program in Pittsburgh.

He said he had no problem asking companies to foot the bill and is "gonna put an end" to Amazon.com Inc and other major companies paying little to nothing in federal taxes.

Biden's second multitrillion-dollar legislative proposal in two months in office sets the stage for a partisan clash in the US Congress, where members largely agree that investments are needed but are divided on the total size and inclusion of programs traditionally seen as social services.

Another economic proposal Biden will release in April could add a further $2 trillion to the total price tag.

(Reuters)

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Third stimulus check: when will the IRS send them to Social Security recipients in April?

After an initial delay in sending $1,400 stimulus payments to federal beneficiaries, the IRS projects that the funds will start to arrive by 7 April.

More information

FOURTH STIMULUS CHECK

Recurring stimulus checks: how would they work and who is pushing for them?

Over 75 congressional Democrats are urging President Biden to include recurring stimulus checks in his Build Back Better spending package, the first part of which he unveiled on Wednesday.

Full details

Stimulus check live updates: welcome

Welcome our daily live blog bringing you the latest information on the third round of stimulus checks, which is being distributed to qualifying Americans as part of President Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief package.

We'll also offer you updates on a possible fourth stimulus check, and information on other measures in Biden's bill, such as an expanded child tax credit and enhanced unemployment benefits.

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