Third stimulus check news summary: 6 April 2021

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Third stimulus check live updates: is a fourth payment coming, expected dates, plus-up payments, tracker

Stimulus check live updates: Tuesday 6 April 2021

Headlines:

- Latest payment run took total third stimulus checks distributed to over 130 million, says IRS

- Social Security recipients expected to get their $1,400 direct payment by Wednesday 7 April (full details)

- Biden's infrastructure plan will focus on jobs creation says top economic advisor Deese

- IRS: recipients of Veterans' benefits could experience stimulus check delays

- Democrats in Congress calling on President Biden to embrace recurring fourth check

- Republicans may support Biden's $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan, but only if it is trimmed significantly says Senator Roy Blunt.

- Track your stimulus check using the IRS' Get My Payment tool (more info)

- Most recent payment run included 'plus-up' stimulus checks (find out more)

- US covid-19 cases/deaths: 30.8 million/555,615 (live updates from JHU)

Scroll through our related articles:

irs

Track your stimulus check using the IRS' Get My Payment tool and app

Find out when your Economic Impact Payment is scheduled to be sent, or when and how we sent it with the Get My Payment application. Get My Payment updates once a day, usually overnight.

More info

Wall St

Wall St treads water after record rally on economic rebound hopes

Wall Street's main indexes treaded water on Tuesday as investors stayed on the sidelines a day after the S&P 500 and the Dow closed at record highs on renewed recovery hopes.

The S&P 500 has risen for three straight sessions with volatility index retreating to pre-pandemic lows, driven by fiscal stimulus packages and swift covid vaccinations in the United States.

Areas of the market expected to benefit the most from a reopening economy - energy, financials industrials - outperformed on Tuesday. The small-cap Russell 2000 added about 0.4%, while the Dow Jones Transports index edged 0.2% higher.

Florida

How to claim unemployment benefits in Florida 

Florida’s unemployment rate has improved considerably since the depths of the covid-19 induced job loses but the state is still missing over 500,000 jobs.

Full details on how to file a claim here.

Democrats have a chance to pass more stimulus without a filibuster 

Budget reconciliation was key to the Democrats ability to bypass Republican opposition to the American Rescue Plan, President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coivd-19 relief bill. With the arcane parliamentary procedure they were able to pass the bill with just a simple majority in the Senate avoiding a GOP filibuster, which would have then required 10 Republicans to sign on to the stimulus package. 

It was thought that the Democrats would only have one more shot to use the procedure in 2021. However, the Senate parliamentarian has ruled that Democrats may amend the budget resolution they used for their covid-19 relief bill and attach another set of reconciliation instructions to it.  

The normally once a budget resolution tool, and thus once a year, may be at the Democrats disposal three more times before voters go back to the polls in 2022. This will give the Democrats more leeway in passing President Biden’s agenda.

FSB says it’s time to study ending stimulus measures 

The Financial Stability Board coordinates financial rules for the G20 group of rich nations. In a report on Tuesday, the regulator told its members that it was time to decide on an exit strategy for ending covid-19 economic relief measures.  

Despite the arrival of vaccines, the withdrawal of relief measures is not imminent given the uneven state of the pandemic around the globe. In the report, the FSB recommends a flexible approach that withdraws relief gradually in a sequenced way to avoid a “cliff edge” effect from simultaneous expiries. Ending COVID economic relief measures too soon would present more of a threat to financial stability than leaving them in place too long.

taxes

What happens if you forgot to file unemployment benefits in 2021? 

The past year has been very stressful with the changes in our lives brought about by the covid-19 pandemic and many found themselves laid off and collecting unemployment for the first time. Although not every state taxes unemployment benefits, the federal government does which means it needs to be reported on tax returns.  

You may not have been aware that you need to report any income received from state unemployment benefits on your tax return. Here’s what to do if you forgot. 

children

When will the monthly Child Tax Credit start?

The new-look Child Tax Credit programme was one of the key inclusions of the American Rescue Plan, which President Biden hopes will provide much-needed support for families across the country.

The IRS are still overseeing the distribution of the third stimulus check and a busy tax season, sparking fears that the new CTC payments may be delayed.

Read the full story to find out when the enhanced Child Tax Credit payments will be sent out.

Democrats lose one of their champions of monthly stimulus checks 

Hastings was one of the 56 Democrats in the House of Representatives pushing for recurring stimulus checks. Hastings' death further narrows what is already a razor-thin majority for Democrats in the House, bringing it to 218 to 211. A special election in Hastings' reliably blue district will be held to fill a seat that he won by 57 points in 2020. 

US Rep. Alcee Hastings, was an outspoken and sometimes controversial figure in Florida and Washington, DC. He has died after battling pancreatic cancer at the age of 84.

Reasons IRS “plus-up” stimulus payments may fall short of expectations 

With the third batch of $1,400 direct stimulus payments, the IRS began sending out supplemental payments to Americans who didn’t get the full amount of the three stimulus payments authorized so far. But the Internal Revenue Service is cautioning people against over-expectations of how big those “plus-up” payments will be.

covid-19

Biden moves up eligibility for all adults to get vaccinated 

President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he is moving up his deadline for states to make all American adults eligible for a coronavirus vaccine from 1 May to 19 April. Speaking at the White House, Biden said that 150 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered within his first 75 days in office, in line with a stated goal of 200 million shots by his 100th day in office. 

31 states have already opened eligibility to all adults to get vaccinated with the rest announcing when they plan to do so.

When and where can you get your jab? Read the full story here. 

Stimulus checks could provide boost for unemployed

Personal finance advocate Scott Santens has suggested that a recurring stimulus check could provide much-needed support for those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic, but have been unable to receive unemployment benefits. He points out that less than half of people who are out of work are actually getting support currently. 

In most states the unemployment benefits are limited to 26 weeks, and in Florida that entitlement is just 12 weeks. This means that the long-term unemployed, of what there have been many over the last 12 months, may have already exhausted their support. 

Dem Representative hits out at stimulus check 'saboteurs'

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. is a Democrat from New Jersey's 9th Congressional District and has been an avid campaigner for greater stimulus check support in recent months. Having finally got the $1,400 direct payments passed by the Biden administraiton, Pascrell is concerned that the Social Security Administration (SSA) was to blame for an error that saw 30 million people forced to wait for the all-important payment. 

The SSA's chief was a Trump appointee and there have been growing calls for Biden to remove him from the role for his part in the delay. 

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

US stimulus check: what to do if I receive IRS money by mistake

Over 130 million Americans have now received the third stimulus check, but some have found that the amount is not what they expected – either too high or too low.

Those who have been eligible for all three of the stimulus checks since the start of the pandemic will have been entitled to a maximum of $3,200 in direct payments; not much to last for an entire year. Here’s everything you need to know if you were sent the wrong amount in the latest batch of payments.

Read more

Calls for Child Tax Credits to be made monthly

Maichael Strain, Director of Economic Policy Studies at AEI, has looked at reports that President Biden wants to extend the new Child Tax Credit programme indefinitely. The current legislation sees provision extended for a year. 

In a thread on Twitter, Strain says: "By distributing the child allowance as monthly income, the government would encourage middle-class parents to stop thinking of it as a tax break. Instead, it might start to feel like a … monthly income."

Despite some support in Congress the proposed recurring stimulus check may prove too difficult to pass, but this alternative could do similar good. 

Democrats celebrate stimulus checks with Times Square billboards

President Biden is looking to press home the success in passing the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and is doing so with a series of public billboards. Here MSNBC presenter Rachel Maddows runs through some of the self-publicising being done by the Democrats at the moment, having fought to get the stimulus bill passed without any Republican support. 

US NEWS

Proposal to increase Florida unemployment benefits: how much would it be?

Republicans in the Florida state Senate have proposed a new bill that would provide a considerable increase to the current unemployment support. Some states have opted to provide their own stimulus checks for residents, but Florida currently has some of the stingiest jobless benefits in the country so lawmakers are prioritising that. 

The Democrats have tabled some amendments which would widen eligibility, but Republican senators have so far blocked these attempts. Here's everything you need to know about the new unemployment benefits in Florida. 

Read more

Vulnerable Americans are struggling to receive stimulus check payments

A New York Times report found that homeless people across the country are not being given the support needed to access the stimulus check payments that they are entitled to. Pretty much anyone with a Social Security number and an income of less than $75,000 should be able to get the direct payment, but without phones, internet access and a fixed address it can be tricky getting the support to those who are most in need. 

“There’s this great intention to lift people out of poverty more and give them support, and all of that’s wonderful,” said Beth Hofmeister, a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society’s Homeless Rights Project. “But the way people have to access it doesn’t really fit with how most really low-income people are interacting with the government.”

STIMULUS CHECKS

Fourth stimulus check: is a new relief bill viable?

It seems that support is growing for a recurring stimulus check, both in Congress and across the country. A recent study carried out by Data for Progress found that 65% of Americans are in favor of recurring payments of $2,000 per month for the duration of the pandemic. This comes after a group of Senate Democrats, led by Senator Ron Wyden, called on President Joe Biden to support recurring stimulus payments for low-income Americans as part of his adminstration's next covid-19 relief bill.

“We urge you to include recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions in your Build Back Better long-term economic plan,” the Senators wrote.

Positive economic outlook as stimulus checks hit

A report from the International Monetary Fund has found that the stimulus measures implemented in the last 12 months are likely to help the American economy avoid a repeat of the 2009 Great Recession. 

The report reads: "At $1.9 trillion, the Biden administration's new fiscal package is expected to deliver a strong boost to growth in the United States in 2021 and provide sizable positive spillovers to trading partners."

They added that the "unprecedented policy response" to the covid-19 pandemic should ensure that it is "likely to leave smaller scars than the 2008 global financial crisis." 

How are the third stimulus checks being spent?

Scott Santens, economics writer and advocate for the Unconditional Basic Income, takes a look at some data on spending habits in the wake of the third stimulus check being sent out. He is a strong supporter of recurring stimulus check payments, and found that in most cases Americans are using the support to pay for essentials like utilities and rental payments. 

He estimates that nearly two-thirds of the $1,400 stimulus checks are being spent on 'household essentials', suggesting that they really are being used as a vital lifeline for many. 

Stimulus check delays for Veterans Affairs recipients

For the second time since the third round of stimulus checks was agreed last month, recipients who receive money from a federal benefits programme will have to wait for their payments. The IRS have confirmed that those who get support from the US Department of Veterans Affairs may not get the money until mid-April, due to administrative errors. 

The IRS has said it does not have the relevant details on file for VA beneficiaries who don't regularly file tax returns, and did not disclose how many veterans are currently waiting for their money. This is a similar situation to the 30 million Social Security recipients who have been missed out of previous rounds of payment, but are now expected to get theirs tomorrow. 

new york

People join a demonstration with essential workers who are on the 20th day of a hunger strike in New York City. A coalition of advocates is supporting the workers, who did not receive federal unemployment aid because of factors like immigration status. They are seeking the creation of an excluded worker's fund from New York State in the upcoming budget.

Unemployment rose sharply early in the pandemic, especially for those in the hospitality and leisure industries. An estimated two million jobs were lost in New York, many by workers who did not have legal status or were awaiting immigration documentation.

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

Analyzing Biden's bill

CNN has taken a close look at Joe Biden's $2.25 trillion infrasructure plan, which faces opposition from Republicans concerned about the effect of tax increases on jobs as the president seeks to tap high earners and corporate America to fund the rebuild.

moderna

Biden to speed up eligibility for vaccine as US hits milestone

President Joe Biden will announce on Tuesday that the US delivered 150 million vaccines since he took office and move up by nearly two weeks a deadline to make doses widely available, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Biden will direct states to widen distribution of vaccines to all eligible American adults by April 19, two weeks earlier than the May 1 deadline he announced before.

On Tuesday, the president is scheduled to tour a vaccination site at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, before making the announcement at the White House.

The federal government has significantly ramped up the pace of vaccination as it works to end the covid-19 pandemic. States with limited vaccine supply initially limited early doses to higher-risk groups, such as the elderly.

Biden initially set a goal of delivering 100 million shots into people's arms within his first 100 days in office, which is the end of April. The goal has since been doubled to 200 million shots.

Covid-19 has killed over 550,000 Americans, but more than 167 million doses have been administered in the country. Four in ten Americans have had at least one vaccine dose, a rate far ahead of most countries.

The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines used in the country require two doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine also used in the country requires one dose.

Photo: EFE/EPA/ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

biden

US service sector activity index hits record high in March

A measure of US services industry activity surged to a record high in March amid robust growth in new orders, in the latest indication of a roaring economy that is being boosted by increased vaccinations and massive fiscal stimulus.

The upbeat survey from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Monday followed news on Friday that the economy added 916,000 jobs in March, the most in seven months. Economic growth this year is expected to be the strongest in nearly four decades.

"Vigorous services activity in March sets the stage for robust expansion in the second quarter," said Oren Klachkin, lead US economist at Oxford Economics in New York. "All the right pieces for a faster services recovery – expanded vaccine eligibility, reopenings, and historic fiscal expansion – are falling into place."

The ISM's non-manufacturing activity index rebounded to a reading of 63.7 last month also due to warmer weather. That was the highest in the survey's history and followed 55.3 in February.

A reading above 50 indicates growth in the services sector, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index rising to 59.0 in March.

The ISM said comments from services industries indicated that "the lifting of covid-19 pandemic-related restrictions has released pent-up demand for many." It, however, noted that "production-capacity constraints, material shortages, weather and challenges in logistics and human resources continue to cause supply chain disruption."

Photo: JIM WATSON / AFP

New York homeless need help with stimulus checks

The federal stimulus checks were intended to be a near-universal benefit, payments totaling $3,200 that would help most Americans begin to rebound from the financial hardship of the pandemic.

But many homeless people in New York City may have missed out because they have not filed a tax return - which can be a daunting task if someone lacks identification or a mailing address.

Daniel Slotnik reports on the situation for the NYT.

US stimulus to add percentage point to global growth

The political and geopolitical convergence between the new Biden Administration and the EU and its member states is starting to become evident. But economic divergence may be emerging at the same time, with the US pulling ahead, as a result of the manner of tackling recovery from the covid-19 crisis. We are witnessing a clash of economic paradigms that could lead to serious transatlantic disruption in a range of areas.

The political and geopolitical convergence includes the US return to a degree of multilateralism, the cultivation of allies and partners, and the defusing, at least temporarily, of certain trade disputes with the EU.

Read more:

CORONAVIRUS STIMUS CHECKS

IRS plus-up payment: what is it, how much is it and who gets it?

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service, US Department of the Treasury and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service announced that a third batch of Economic Impact Payments from the American Rescue Plan is scheduled to be sent out to those who have not received their checks.

The third batch of payments began processing on Friday 26 March with the official payment date on the morning of Wednesday 31 March – just before the Easter holidays.

This latest batch includes the first of ongoing supplemental payments called "plus-up" payments. These plus-up payments will be going out to people who may have already received the third stimulus check.

We look into how this could affect you.

How Biden's stimulus could impact on Canada

Biden’s proposal includes roughly US$1 trillion in spending over the next eight years just in areas related to a low-carbon economy — including charging stations for electric vehicles, new public rail and transit projects, grid modernization, clean energy manufacturing and research and development.

In announcing his plan, Biden set up a debate that is likely to dominate discussions about the economy over the next few years. He framed investment in a low-carbon economy as a strategy for growth rather than a cost that will be a drag on competitiveness. It’s a debate that many in Canada are keen to start, especially cleantech entrepreneurs and climate change activists, but also the automotive industry.

Read more:

Minimum wage challenges after stimulus bill

Inside North Carolina. Back in February, cooks and cashiers went on a noontime strike to protest low pay. They held big letters that read "PAY US $15 Now" while cars honked horns in solidarity.

Sylcoria Carroll, a McDonald’s worker in Durham who gets paid $8.50 an hour, said she just couldn't take it anymore. "The highest check I ever got was literally $291," she said. "I can't take it no more."

Carroll is pregnant with her third child, and says she's on the brink of homelessness. "I'm struggling in this poverty," she said. "This job is not worth $8.50. I need $15 now."

Yet she and thousands of workers across the state will have to wait. The federal $1.9 trillion stimulus bill did not include a measure to raise the federal minimum wage. North Carolina, like 21 others that set state-level minimums, is as low as federal law allows: $7.25, a figure which hasn't changed since 2009.

Full story:

Previous stimulus still caring for the needy

“I think the CARES Act -- it’s fair to say is the gift that keeps giving,” Shawn Heath, assistant to the Charlotte city manager, said.

The city plans to provide $2.1 million of Emergency Solutions Grant funds to United Way. This will provide a year of housing for 75 people who lived in Tent City. More than 150 former Tent City residents are currently in hotels. According to the city, the county says the people not served by this funding will need a higher level of service.

Charlotte leaders also plan to provide The Salvation Army with $700,000 to lease a hotel for July through December. This will provide shelter to 400 families

Honolulu rental and utility relief program open

“Helping people who are struggling to get back on their feet is a major part of our recovery strategy,” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said in a statement.

“The Rental and Utility Relief Program is one of our most powerful tools to get financial support to people who need the most help paying their rent and household utilities that are in arrears.

The program has $114 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds from the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021. Our goal is to spend every dollar equitably and efficiently in supporting our community and our recovery.”

Stimulus relief approval the blueprint for Democrats

Democrats can pass another major piece of legislation - such as President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion-plus infrastructure plan - by revisiting the budget process they used to approve his coronavirus relief package without Republican support, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday.

The interpretation of the ruling from the Senate parliamentarian, the upper chamber’s official adviser on procedural matters, could give Democrats significantly more opportunities to push their legislative priorities past a filibuster. But the procedural leeway of using the budget process to make that happen may not be a panacea for the majority party: All 50 Democratic senators will have to go along with the approach, which moderates like Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have advised against using a second time.

IRS supporting filers

Remember that the Inland Revenue Service is there to help make sure you file your taxes correctly.

Your filing status is used to determine your filing requirements, standard deduction, eligibility for certain credits, and your correct tax. If more than one filing status applies to you, their interactive tax assistant will choose the one that will result in the lowest amount of tax.

Check it out:

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A reminder that US Vice President Kamala Harris was recently visiting with students in a pre-school classroom at West Haven Child Development Center in Connecticut.

Harris is traveling, as has her boss, to promote the Biden administration's recently passed $1.9 billion federal stimulus package.

Stimulus leads to cliff fall

Jeroen Blokland, the Head of Multi Asset at Robeco in the Netherlands, has been looking at the impact of huge amounts of stimulus spending. This forecast concerns not just the United States but on a global scale.

Is stimulus debate forgetting China?

The scale of US President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan - $1 trillion in spending for this year, another $900 billion after that, plus a $3 trillion infrastructure and energy program that has been promised - has spooked many macroeconomists. Are their fears justified?

The bank and bond-market economists, having cried wolf before, can be disregarded. A year ago, many of them warned that the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act would incite hyperinflation by massively increasing the money supply. It didn’t happen.

An opinion piece from Jack Galbraith.

Taking the temperature of the covid relief package

Climate change is a massive concern for the Biden administration and a new analysis shows how oil and mining businesses used tax changes in the CARES Act to improve cash flow and reward shareholders rather than maintain employment.

What does the current situation mean for the industry?

School stimulus

Getting the money from President Biden's American Rescue Plan is one thing, but as we've seen across the country, how states decide how best to use those funds is key.

One idea being implemented is that of summer camps. Read more from CBS46...

US stimulus recovery is a global issue

Gayle Smith has been tapped for a new post at the State Department where she will coordinate the Biden administration’s international response to the covid-19 pandemic. She helped lead the Obama administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014 that spread from West Africa to the US.  

As coordinator for Global Covid Response and Health Security she will help with the global covid-19 vaccination effort. Secretary of State Tony Blinken said that as the Biden administration gets "more confident" about vaccine supply domestically, they are looking at options for sharing vaccines with other countries. He has not given specifics but said that the effort would begin soon.

Stimulus checks see uptick in charitable giving 

The stimulus checks distributed in the US during the coronavirus pandemic have contributed to a rise in charitable donations, according to a report by MarketWatch

Between 6% and 7.5% of stimulus check recipients gave away the money, according to according to the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse surveys. That represents an increase of 10.6% between 2019 and 2020. According to Woodrow Rosenbaum, the chief data officer at fundraising campaign Giving Tuesday, there was a "measurable spike" in $1,200 and $2,400 donations to charity when the first stimulus check was sent out in April 2020. 

"This suggests that at least some people were donating their entire stimulus check to charity at that time," Rosenbaum said. Giving Tuesday ultimately raised $2.47 billion in the U.S. in 2020, up from $1.97 billion in 2019.

STIMULUS CHECKS

Fourth stimulus check: is a new relief bill viable?

Will there be a fourth stimulus check?

A recent poll from Data for Progress found that 65% of Americans are in favor of recurring payments of $2,000 per month for the duration of the pandemic. The results of this survey come after a group of Senate Democrats led by Senator Ron Wyden called on President Joe Biden to support recurring stimulus checks for low-income Americans as part of his coronavirus relief response.

With the majority of the third round of $1,400 stimulus checks having been sent out at this point, many people are wondering if a fourth payment could follow.

Is a new relief bill viable? Read here to find out

Stimulus plan needs covid-19 vaccine to work

An estimated 10% to 30% of people who get covid-19 suffer from continued symptoms of the disease, or what's known as "long covid."

It appears now that the vaccine may be helping those with this post-illness syndrome, to reduce or even fully cure the lingering symptoms. Scientists who study the post-illness syndrome are taking a close look.

Could expanded Child Tax Credit become permanent?

President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan included a one-year expansion of the Child Tax Credit which will send up to $3,600 to parents. 41 Democratic senators say one year is not enough and are urging him to make the expanded Child Tax Credit and the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit permanent also included in the bill.  

The two measures will lift millions of Americans out of poverty. However, the senators in a letter to the White House state letting the expansions expire after one year “would result in a significant spike in child poverty, after we have made historic strides to end it.” 

New rule proposed to stop foreclosures in 2021 

As the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel gets brighter, a dark cloud of foreclosures looms over the exit.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering restrictions on mortgage servicers that would ensure that homeowners don’t go straight from forbearance to foreclosure when pandemic-related pauses expire.

More than 3 million households are behind on their mortgage payments, and nearly 1.7 million will run out their forbearance periods in September.

Stimulus check live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our daily live blog on Tuesday 6 April.

We'll be with you throughout the day bringing you the latest information related to both the third stimulus check, which sees qualifying Americans get up to $1,400, and also on a potential fourth direct payment.

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