Fourth stimulus check summary: 1 June 2021
US Stimulus check news: updates | 1 June
You'll see reports about how the economy is starting to grow, but there are a lot of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, and for a lot of them the government relief programs haven't been able to help.
Fourth stimulus check: more comments
Some top economists have called for more direct aid to Americans. More than 150 economists, including former Obama administration economist Jason Furman, signed a letter last year that argued for "recurring direct stimulus payments, lasting until the economy recovers."
Although the economy is improving, including a surge in hiring in March, millions of people continue to suffer from reduced income and have not been able to tap government aid programs, said Greg Nasif, political director of Humanity Forward, a nonprofit pushing for recurring stimulus payments. Only 4 in 10 jobless workers actually received unemployment aid, according to a March study from economist Eliza Forsythe.
Aimee Picchi gives her take on further payments for CBS.
$10M New Mexico Vaccine Lottery: how to enter and sign up
New Mexico becomes the twelfth state to announce a covid-19 vaccine lottery. The Vax-to-Max program will give away 10 million dollars worth of prizes.
For more information on how to opt-in see our full coverage.
Curious about how many other sates have implemented a vaccine lotter?
How many other states have implemented vaccine lotteries?
Nine states, including New Mexico, have established covid-19 lotteries.
California’s vaccine lottery is the largest to be announced and will give away $1.5 million to ten Californians who have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.
On 25 Colorado Governor Jared Polis unveiled the “Colorado Comeback Cash Vaccine Drawing” which will select five vaccinated residents to win $1 million.
Since the contest has been announced the percent of residents who have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine increased one point to 45.4%.
On 25 May, Governor John Carney introduced “ DE Wins!,” which described as “a public education and incentive program aimed at increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates in Delaware.”
All individuals above the age of twelve, who have been vaccinated “will be entered to win $5,000 in cash and additional prizes in twice-weekly drawings conducted by the Delaware Lottery.” On 30 June, two residents that have received a vaccine will be eligible to win the $302,000 grand prize.
On 20 May, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced the $2 Million VaxCash Promotion which gives those vaccinated in the state a chance to win $40,000.
On 4 July, one person will be selected to win the $400,000 grand prize.
Ohio was the first state to announce a vaccine lottery for both young people and adults. The first of five drawings to select a $1 million winner was held on 26 May.
Vaccinated individuals in Ohio now have four more chances to win. The state has announced that the vaccination rate did begin to increase after Governor Mike DeWine announced the contest.
On 21 May, Governor Brown of Oregon, introduced the “Take Your Shot” Program. Residents of Oregon have until late June to get vaccinated to have a chance of wining, $10,000 (37 winners) or $1 million (1 winner).
Younger Oregonians could win one of five $100,000 scholarships to an Oregon university or colleges.
On 1 June, West Virginia became one of the latest states to launch a covid-19 vaccine lottery. The state will be giving away cash prizes as well as goods like riffles and trucks.
When are unemployment benefits ending in Florida?
As Florida's unemployment rate inches closer to pre-pandemic levels, the state announces changes to unemployment benefits.
Read our full coverage for more information on the elimination of additional federal benefits and the implementation of new work search requirements.
At the peak of the pandemic in April 2020, the unemployment rate in Florida increased to 14.2 percent. This is almost five points higher than the state's 2019 average. Currently, the Miami area has the highest unemployment rate at almost 7%, but overall the data collected from April shows that unemployment across the state had dropped to 4.8 percent. While higher than pre-pandemic levels, the sharp decline represents a significant improvement in the Sunshine State’s economy.
Child Tax Credit
How do I register to receive the credit?
You do not need to do anything as long as you have submitted a 2020 tax return to the IRS. If you have not, do so as quickly as possible to ensure that the IRS has the information necessary to calculate and distribute the benefit
Full our full coverage for details on what was changed to the Child Tax Credit under the American Rescue Plan.
What unemployment changes are in Michigan?
On 30 May, the state reestablished that those on unemployment report their work search progress when claiming their benefits. These requirements aim to incentive those on unemployment to apply for jobs, with the longer-term goal of reducing the number of people claiming benefits.
Read our full coverage on how to access the MiWAM account to add these details.
Unemployment benefits in Florida: how to certify and prove the work search requirements
To remain eligible for state unemployment assistance in Florida you will now need to fulfill a weekly job search requirement. Here's everything you need to know to keep the support.
From 29 May a major change to the unemployment benefits system in Florida could see claimants lose their state support if they fail to provide proof of a work search on a weekly basis.
At the start of the pandemic, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis introduced the Work Search Waiver, removing the condition that unemployment benefits recipients must demonstrate that they are actively looking for work. But as the jobs market begins to recover the state is rolling back some of the pandemic-era exceptions.
Full details for information on what services the state provides for those looking for work.
Federal Reserve leaders sit down with the Wall Street Journal to challenge thinking that government stimulus is leading to an increase in inflation.
Stimulus news out of California
California Senate and Legislature reach an agreement on the California Comeback Plan, meaning millions of Californians could see another stimulus check.
Read full details on the value of the payment here.
Petition continues calls for a fourth stimulus check
An online petition calling for an additional round of direct payments has surpassed two million signatures, suggesting that there is still a pretty widespread desire for a fourth stimulus check. Not only that, but the petition calls for recurring direct payments until the end of the pandemic to provide stability for American families.
Tax refund payments begin to arrive
After months of waiting for some eager filers, many are reporting that their 2020 tax refund is on its way to their bank account. Some have received notifications from their bank informing them that the payment is on the way after a delay from the IRS.
The Fast Company confirm that an IRS spokesperson has said that the payments are beginning to land now, which will be a relief for those waiting for the money.
The case for the expanded Child Tax Credit
This editorial from the Atlantic, shared by left-wing research group the Bridge Project, runs through the benefits of the Child Tax Credit, which is set to begin in its new form from 15 July. The regular monthly payments are expected to make budgeting easier for families and could halve the number of children in poverty, according to a White House fact sheet.
the article reads: "We would do well to ensure that the lessons we’ve learned during COVID‑19—about mutual vulnerability, structural inequity, the value of cooperation, and shared dignity—are not fleeting. We have the ability to wipe away the most extreme forms of child poverty with a simple policy."
Studies suggest that the economic impact of the third round of stimulus checks is beginning to wear off. This concern has led some Democratic lawmakers to push for the sending of a fourth stimulus check, with some even promoting the idea that recurring payments are needed. Over 80 Democrats on Capitol Hill have publicly supported additional direct payments in some form.
Most recently, seven Democrats from the House Ways and Means Committee sent a letter to President Biden, urging him to include another round of payments in his American Families Plan. The letter argued: “$1,400 checks alone will keep 11 million people out of poverty this year, with UI expansion and other provisions in the bill accounting for the another five million. A fourth and fifth check could keep an additional 12 million out of poverty.”
"Our country is still deeply struggling. The recovery hasn’t reached many Americans – the true unemployment rate for low-wage workers is estimated at over 20% and many people face large debts from last year for things like utilities, rent and child care."
"I’m calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis."
How can I qualify for the Child Tax Credit monthly payments?
Roughly nine out of ten American children is expected to be covered by the new Child Tax Credit when it is introduced from 15 July, when the monthly payments are scheduled to begin. However while an estimated 65 million children will get the federal support there are concerns that some may miss out because they have not been claimed as tax dependents on the most recent filing.
Here's everything you need to know to make sure you get the full Child Tax Credit entitlement...
The national vaccination effort continues as the White House looks to get the life-saving shots out to Americans as swiftly as possible, in the hope that it will help bring an end to the pandemic. President Biden has been focused on the vaccination effort for much of his time in office and has set a number of ambitious targets.
Across the US more than 295 million doses of the various vaccines have been administered, with 135 million people now fully vaccinatred, accoringing to Our World in Data. This means that 41.2% of the population is now fully vaccinated.
For all the latest information on the US vaccine rollout, as well as news on the various incentives being offered by different states to sign up for your shot, take a look at our dedicated covid-19 vaccine live blog.
As he tries to build bipartisan support for his new infrastructure proposal, President Biden is facing growing calls for a major addition to the package. An online petition asking Biden to include a fourth round of stimulus checks, as well as reucrring payments for the duration of the pandemic, continues to draw support.
The support from stimulus checks comes from within Congress as well as across the country, with numerous letters from Democratic lawmakers insisting that working families are in need of a fourth stimulus check. But how many have now signed the petition, and will these calls be successful?
88% of children expected to be covered by new Child Tax Credit
The reformed Child Tax Credit has not even began issuing payments yet but already there is huge optimism about the impact this massive-scale programme will have. The IRS estimate that around 88% of American children will be covered by the enhanced benefits. In total, the 12-month programme is expected to cost around $110 billion.
Although the vast majority of eligible American have now received their stimulus check, the IRS is continuing to make direct payments to those who have been missed out of the process so far. Each week the tax authority is sending out billions of dollars worth of payments in what are known as 'plus-up' stimulus checks.
But how do you know if you are owed another payments, and what can you do to check on the status of your stimulus check money? Here's everything you need to know...
White House optimistic about the potantial of reformed Child Tax Credit
The American Rescue Plan includes a significant overhaul of the Child Tax Credit system, which had previous provided a single tax credit worth up to $2,000. The new programme, introduced from 15 July 2021, will see parents receive a monthly direct payment of up to $300 per child, which is expected to drastically reduce the number of American children living in poverty over the next 12 months.
With such optimism it is no surprise that Biden is moving the extend the programme beyond its initial 12-month duration. The American Families Plan will see it last until the end of 2025, if passed by Congress in its current form.
Stimulus spending improves economic outlook
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has announced that it has altered the US' economic outlook after the successful vaccination rollout and the raft of stimulus spending. Trillions of federal money has been spent on massive programmes like the stimulus checks, expanded unemployment benefits and loans for businesses struggling in the pandemic.
However OECD chief economist Laurence Boone warned that there is still danger of a relapse, saying: "The world economy is currently navigating towards the recovery, with lots of frictions."
He added: "The risk that sufficient post-pandemic growth is not achieved or widely shared is elevated."
California residents in line for another stimulus check
While the White House has remained tight-lipped on the prospect of a fourth stimulus check, California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced a new state-wide legislative package that includes another round of direct payments for the majority of residents.
The California Comeback Plan contains a round of $600 stimulus checks that are expected to go to around two-thirds of the state's residents. The programme will be partly funded by tax revenue after the state announced a massive budget surplus on the last fiscal year.
File your taxes to be eligible for Child Tax Credit payments
The deadline to submit your federal tax returns has passed, but anyone who is yet to do so could face more than just a late penalty. Eligibility for the new-look Child Tax Credit is based on the information provided on your tax returns, meaning that you could miss out on the new monthly payments if you do not file.
Parents can receive up to $300 per child in monthly payments as part of the new programme, so make sure to get your filing completed if you have children.
The lawmakers who may need stimulus checks
The battle among Texas lawmakers over a bill that would impose some of the strictest limits in the nation on voting access escalated on Monday as Democrats and Republicans vowed that they would not back down over a highly charged issue that has galvanized both parties.
Stung by the last-minute setback for one of the GOP’s top legislative priorities, after Democrats killed the measure with a dramatic walkout Sunday night, Gov. Greg Abbott suggested he would withhold pay from lawmakers because of their failure to pass the bill.
Dave Montgomery and Nick Corasaniti look into the Texas impasse.
From federal relief to a sigh of relief, venues welcome crowds
Museums broke attendance records, movie theaters sold out and jazz fans packed clubs on a Memorial Day weekend that felt far removed from the prior year’s pandemic traumas.
No one was more pleased to see lines of visitors than the venue owners, who spent the past year eating through their savings, laying off staff and waiting anxiously for federal pandemic relief.
During the lockdown, Andrew Elgart, whose family owns Cobble Hill Cinemas, said he would sometimes watch movies alone in the theater with only his terrier for company (no popcorn, though — it was too much work to reboot the machine). Reopening to the public was nothing short of therapeutic, he said, especially because most people seemed grateful to simply be there.
“These are the most polite and patient customers we’ve had in a long time,” he said.
Reopening has been slower for music venues, which tend to book talent months in advance, and who say the economics of reopening with social distancing restrictions is impractical.
Read more from Julia Jacobs.
America reopening: stimulus thought amid holiday joy
After the Memorial Day weekend, travel volumes were up and many restrictions were lifted across the state. Fewer covid-19 cases were massively down and positivity is high.
Could this have a hugely significant impact on future plans for stimulus payments?
Where did you spend your stimulus?
An increase in online shopping has seen a number of retail stores and malls left abandoned. California is just one state looking at how to resolve a modern day problem.
Vaccine rollouts and US stimulus checks: OECD ups growth forecasts
As we previously told you, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has raised its global growth forecasts, thanks to improving vaccine rollout and the US fiscal stimulus.
Market Edge gives you a brief overview.
IRS tax return reminder
The only way to get a refund is to file a tax return. There is no penalty for filing after the deadline if a refund is due. Use electronic filing options including IRS Free File available on IRS.gov through 15 October to prepare and file returns electronically.
Covid-19 continues to cause delays in some IRS services. If a taxpayer filed a paper tax return, the IRS will process it in the order it was received. Taxpayers should not file a second tax return or call the IRS. The IRS issues more than nine out of 10 refunds in less than 21 days. However, it's possible a tax return may require additional review and take longer.
Taxpayers can track a refund using the Where's My Refund? tool on IRS.gov, IRS2Go and by phone at 800-829-1954. Taxpayers need the primary Social Security number on the tax return, the filing status and the expected refund amount. The tool updates once daily, usually overnight, so there's no need to check more frequently. The Where's My Refund? tool cannot be used to track Economic Impact Payments.
Check out all you need to know.
After sharp increases in consumer spending in March, many economists expected that the April numbers would follow the positive trend. They did not. In March, spending increased by 4.7%, fueled by the delivery of the third stimulus check. In April, spending slowed, rising by less than one percent. The only two sectors that saw increases in consumer spending in April were gas stations and food service.
These concerns over household spending have led some Democratic lawmakers to push for the sending of a fourth - and in some cases fifth - direct payment. Over eighty Democrats on Capitol Hill have publicly supported the measure. Most recently, seven Democrats from the House Ways and Means Committee sent a letter to President Biden, urging him to include another round of payments in his American Families Plan.
The letter’s signatories argued the “$1,400 checks alone will keep 11 million people out of poverty this year, with UI expansion and other provisions in the bill accounting for the another five million. A fourth and fifth check could keep an additional 12 million out of poverty.”
What comes after stimulus-led inflation?
The US Federal Reserve has just reassured the markets that it doesn’t expect inflation to get out of hand in the coming months.
It comes as concerns about serious inflation damaging the global economy have reached fever pitch, particularly since recent Labor Department data showed that American inflation rose 4.2% over the 12 months ended April – the highest since the global financial crisis of 2007-09. In the euro area, inflation seems certain during the rest of this year to break out above the European Central Bank target of “close to but below 2%”.
Central bankers on both sides of the Atlantic say that these price rises are a temporary consequence of the whiplash effect of the covid-19 pandemic on demand. Supply chains in everything from commodities to semiconductors have been disturbed by demand first collapsing and then surging back, making prices very volatile. On this rationale, inflation will settle down once the pandemic recedes.
Access to Child Tax Credit key to its success
"I’m ecstatic that the Internal Revenue Service will create an online portal for parents who don’t normally file taxes to get the credit. This will be a critical tool for parents who earn little to no income, who aren’t required to file a return and who face the greatest barriers to filing."
The Child Defense Fund - one of the nation's largest child advocacy organizations - has thrown their support behind the American Families Plan. More specifically the Fund supports the extensions of the changes made to the Credit Tax Credit permanent through 2025.
President Biden's American Jobs Plan had many Democratic lawmakers soon announcing their support for the plan. After the White House released an extensive fact sheet on the infrastructure plan, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer threw his support behind the proposal, saying that “Addressing infrastructure, climate, and environmental justice together, and creating millions of good-paying jobs” was the right direction in order to “meet head on the challenges that America now faces.”
Leader Schumer went on to say that all communities, across the rural-urban divide, would benefit and that he looked “forward to working with President Biden to pass a big, bold plan that will drive America forward for decades to come.”
But support within the Democratic caucus in the Senate is divided. Maite Knorr-Evans looks at who's in, who's out, and who are sitting on the fence.
Biden's new Child Tax Credit: impact on American families
There is a lot of optimism about the positive impact that the new-look Child Tax Credit will have for American children, with the White House expecting it to help halve the number in poverty over the next 12 months. The new programme is a dramatic change from the old, single-credit system and will provide monthly payments for parents.
Council of Economic Advisors Member Heather Boushey, speaking on 'Bloomberg Surveillance', discusses details of the monthly child tax-credit payments set to begin in mid-July and continue through the rest of the year. The program is part of the American Rescue Plan passed in March.
California Comeback plan includes additional stimulus check
The recently-announced California Comeback legislative package will include an additional direct payment, just as it seems that hopes of a federally-funded fourth stimulus check are fading. The California-specific payments will be worth up to $600 per eligible resident, and will be sent to every Californian who earns less than $75,000.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said upon announcing the programme: “This is a jumpstart for our local economies, and it’s how we’ll bring California roaring back."
In conjunction with the American Rescue Plan, the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan form President Biden’s Build Back Better (BBB) economic agenda.
While on the campaign trail, candidate-Biden argued that returning to “normal” was not enough after the pandemic. For many across the United States, the pandemic has exposed the deep inequities that left many families economically vulnerable throughout the crisis.
Within months of being in office, the White House released the two proposals to build a more resilient country while also acknowledging that many families were struggling before the pandemic.
Where's my IRS tax refund?
The deadline to file your 2020 tax returns to the IRS was 17 May, but even some early filers are reporting unusually long delays with the process. The tax authority has been tasked with overseeing a busy tax return season while distributing the third round of stimulus checks so a longer wait is to be expected, but can be frustrating if you are waiting on a tax refund.
If you are waiting for yours, check out this handy online tool from the IRS that lets you track the status of your tax refund...
In some states, when a homeowner falls behind on their property taxes or utility bills, the government can bundle the debt and sell it to an investor. The state uses the money from the sale to pay the overdue taxes, and then the homeowner pays the investor. If they cannot pay back the investor, their house can be foreclosed on, seized, or auctioned. Each state regulates the market on these assets known as tax liens in a different way.
The number of people who become delinquent on their mortgage and subsequently on their property taxes tends to increase during times of economic distress. The federal moratoriums on evictions ended on 31 March 2021, meaning that many who are behind on payments could see a tax lien imposed on their property.
However, some economists and researchers have pointed to the Great Recession during which “overall property tax collections saw minimal declines during the Great Recession despite widespread mortgage defaults and foreclosures.” This could be because the wealthiest members of a community, who own the most expensive houses and pay the most in property taxes, are not impacted by the economic downturn; they keep paying, which keeps the total level afloat.
Maite Knorr-Evans brings you all the latest on tax liens.
US stimulus checks live updates: welcome
Welcome to our live US stimulus checks blog for Tuesday 1 June, the start of what could be a significant one.
Throughout the day, we’ll be bringing you all the latest information on a possible fourth direct payment as well as updates on the third stimulus check, which the IRS has been distributing since the $1.9tn American Rescue Plan was signed into law in early March.