Stimulus check and Child Tax Credit live updates: Wednesday 4 August

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Fourth stimulus check and Child Tax Credit live updates: can it be passed in August? Dates, tax return, opt-out...

Stimulus checks: live updates Wednesday 4 August


- CDC to introduce new 60-day eviction moratorium, protecting renters

- From 6 September up to 10 million Americans will lose pandemic unemployment benefits (Details)

- White House did not move to postpone the federal eviction moratorium. Why? (Details)

- Congress unveils new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act - when will it be voted on?

- What's the latest on the fourth stimulus check and the bipartisan infrastructure bill (Details)

- Lawmakers and researchers continue calls for a fourth round of stimulus checks (Details)

Useful information / links

- How many people will get the $1,600 tax refund payment? (Find out more)

- California Golden State stimulus check, information on payments for those with dependents. (Details)

- How much can you get from stimulus checks and the Child Tax Credit? (Find out)

- When will Golden State Stimulus payment arrive? (Details)

- 'Thank you' bonuses for educators - which states are sending them?

- When should I contact the IRS if my tax refund hasn't arrived yet?

Take a look at some of our related news articles:

US infrastructure bill could be nearing final vote, key senators say

The US Senate could vote in the next few days on the $1 trillion infrastructure package that is one of President Joe Biden's top domestic priorities, said members of the bipartisan group of senators who negotiated the sweeping bill.

The bill, the result of months of negotiations, includes $550 billion in new spending on roads, bridges and broadband internet access, on top of $450 billion in previously approved funds.

Since unveiling its text late Sunday, the Senate has been voting on a series of amendments to it, so far agreeing to five on topics including health care for Native Americans and highway costs.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, whose party holds a razor-thin majority, has threatened to keep senators in Washington past the start of their scheduled five-week recess, until the package is passed. His Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, has warned Democrats against rushing.

A key moment will come on Thursday when the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office releases its cost estimates of the bill. Multiple Republican senators have said their support for the bill will hinge on whether it contains enough new revenue-generating measures to cover its costs.


Why hasn't the FDA officially approved the coronavirus vaccines?

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, a US public health emergency was announced. This allowed the FDA to authorise emergency use of new drugs, treatments and vaccines without having to go through the full approval process.

That's not to say the vaccines are unsafe, there is still a rigorous testing procedure that is carried out.

The Pfizer vaccine is expected to receive full FDA approval by labor day at the latest due to the rapid increase of Delta variant cases.

Infrastructure bill doesn't go far enough on Green energy, say progressives.

“We were sent to Congress to transform lives. If the Senate fails to support a reconciliation package that meets the moment on climate and our care economy, I can’t see myself supporting their goal of passing a bipartisan package for infrastructure,” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.)

Progressives want the bill tied to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill.


How effective are masks against the Delta variant?

Anthony Fauci told CNBC, “If you want to go the extra mile of safety, even though you’re vaccinated, when you’re indoors, particularly in crowded places, you might want to consider wearing a mask."

For the unvaccinated the CDC recommends wearing face masks in all places. For those vaccinated it also recommended due to the high viral load of the Delta variant.

CDC extends eviction moratorium despite White House inaction

The CDC announced a 2 month extension to prevent mass evictions this week. The organisation said the move was within its powers due to the pandemic situation.

The White House said there was no legal recourse to do so despite claiming support for the move. The Senate was due to debate an extension but ran out of time before the summer recess, potentially throwing hundreds of thousands of people into housing insecurity in the middle of a pandemic.


Fourth stimulus check: which entities are pushing for a new payment?

It has been over four months since the American Rescue Plan was passed and lawmakers, individuals and research groups are extolling the virtues of another round of direct payments.

Full story

Child Tax Credit FAQs

Child Tax Credit FAQs

If you have any unresolved queries about the expanded Child Tax Credit scheme, which is seeing qualifying parents get monthly payments of up to $300, you may wish to take a look at the FAQs page the IRS has created.

You’ll find a range of questions and answers on topics such as eligibility, calculating your credit and unenrolling from monthly payments (in favor of receiving a lump sum in 2022).

Take a look at the IRS' Child Tax Credit FAQs page



Golden State Stimulus Check: How much will taxpayers with dependents receive? 

Many in California are awaiting their Golden State Stimulus payment and those in the care of dependents are curious if they will receive more money.

Full details

Stimulus checks

Stimulus checks: every AS English article

You’ll find a range of news articles on a possible fourth direct payment in our dedicated stimulus check section, in addition to information on the third check, which began going out earlier this year. We also have articles providing updates on the Golden State Stimulus payments scheme in California.

Take a look at our stimulus checks section

Photo of Congress

What is in the new infrastructure package?

The new infrastructure proposal has officially been proposed in the Senate after winning support from a bipartisan group including 17 Republican lawmakers.

Full story

(Photo: Joshua Roberts/AFP)

IRS introduces Spanish version of the IRS Child Tax Credit tool  

The Child Tax Credit Eligibility Assistant provides an easy way to oversee payments for the new-look federal programme and establish whether you are eligible for the support. The interactive portal allows you to both check eligibility and find out how big your monthly entitlement will be so you can ensure you’re not being underpaid. For the first time, this information will now also be available in Spanish through the same portal.  

Still waiting for an IRS tax refund? 

Throughout the pandemic the IRS has been tasked with overseeing a range of new programmes, from the stimulus checks to the reformed Child Tax Credit, so it should be no surprise that this has caused delays and issues with their usual work.  

The tax agency estimates that it has already made around 9 million mathematical or clerical errors while processing the 2020 tax returns. To make sure you weren’t affected by the mistakes, check out this handy guide

Child Tax Credit could cut childhood poverty by 39%

The White House has been extremely confident about the impact that the changes to the Child Tax Credit will have on low-income families in the United States. When the American Rescue Plan was first announced they estimated that the programme could halve the number of children in poverty over the next year. 

There have been some issues in the distribution of the payments, with some low-income families failing to register for the payments. However the Niskanen Center still anticipate that the CTC will reduce instances of childhood poverty by 39%. 


$100 Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation in California: what's the deadline to claim it?

In December 2020, after months of logjam in Congress, President Donald Trump passed a $900 billion covid-19 relief bill which provided a raft of unemployment benefits programmes. It extended the $300 additional unemployment benefits, but also introduced a new $100 weekly payment known as the  Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC).

The MEUC was introduced to provide support for gig workers, freelancers, and other self-employed individuals who would otherwise be short-changed by the traditional unemployment benefits. But there is limited time left to sign up and get a potential 36 weeks of unemployment support. 

Read more

Watch out for Child Tax Credit scams

Throughout the pandemic unscruplous criminals have been looking to take advantage of the various forms of economic support offered by the federal government. After the stimulus checks and unemployment benefits, the latest target is the reformed Child Tax Credit which offers monthly payments for millions of Ameirican families. 

To stay safe and ensure that you receive your full entitlement, check out this advice from the IRS...

Tax Refund

How many Americans will receive the $1600 Tax refund payment?

The IRS reported that taxpayers will receive refunds averaging more than $1,600 this week as it continues to adjust unemployment compensation from previously filed income tax returns.

This is the fourth repayment after Congress changed tax laws relating to unemployment aid. Usually unemployment benefits are subject to federal tax, but President Biden's American Rescue Plan set a limit of $10,200 before any tax is paid. Any unemployment aid under this value would not be subject to any tax and those who overpaid are being retroactively refunded.

Read more


Would a fourth stimulus check be a good idea?

The White House has gone quiet on the prospect of another round of stimulus checks in recent weeks, appearing to focus on other legislative priorities like the new infrastructure bill. However many in Congress and across the country are still in favour of direct payments and believe more support is needed. 

This short video from Vox gives the perspective of some leading economists who believe that another round of checks could actually be bad for the US economy, risking 'over-heating' during a critical stage of the economy.

New Child Tax Credit payments will be sent out from next week

The next payment date for the monthly Child Tax Credit is 13 August, at which point roughly 35 million will receive a direct payment from the IRS. There is hope that more people will be covered by this round of payments after an effort to get non-filers (those who do not usually file a tax return) registered with the new programme. 


California Golden State stimulus check: when is the new payment coming?

With no sign of a fourth stimulus check from the federal government, some states have sought to provide their own short-term financial boost to residents.

On 12 July, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 129 into law, approving the majority of the state’s 2012/22 budgetary agreement. The centre-piece inclusion in the package was the $100 billion California Comeback Plan, the largest economic recovery bill in the state’s history.

It included a round of stimulus checks covering around two-thirds of Californians, but when will the payments arrive?

Read more

Stimulus bill may be able to lower your health insurance costs

The various relief bills passed during the pandemic are often remebered for the direct support that they provided, whether that be through stimulus checks, unemployment benefits or the recent Child Tax Credit overhaul. However the trillions of dollars spent by the federal government went on much more than that and there are programmes introduced which could knock a substantial amount off your health insurance costs, as this report from the Wall Street Journal explains... 


Can Child Tax Credit payments affect my tax return in 2022?

The new-look Child Tax Credit overhauls not only the size of the payment on offer but also the way in which the money is distributed. No longer a single end-of-year tax credit, the new programme offers monthly payments for eligible families.

The Child Tax Credit is not considered a form of household income so it will not affect your eligibility for any other federal or state support programmes or any future rounds of stimulus checks. However there are some things you should bear in mind when considering your tax filing for the 2021 tax year.

Read more

How are families benefitting from the new Child Tax Credit?

The new Child Tax Credit offers a far more generous level of support for American families, with children under the age of six receiving up to $300 per month and those aged below 18 getting up to $250. 

This tax credit will be worth thousands of dollars a year to eligible households and many are already seeing the benefits after struggling through the pandemic. 


Fourth stimulus check: which entities are pushing for a new payment?

As Congress continues to discuss the fate of President Biden’s huge infrastructure proposal there is some concern about whether or not a new round of direct payments will be forthcoming. 

As it stands, there is no fourth stimulus check in the multi-trillion package, with Biden opting to favour less direct forms of financial stimulus. However many in Congress and across the United States would like to see another stimulus check and they will retain hope of convincing Biden of the merits.

Read more

VP Harris calls for Child Tax Credit to be extended

When the American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March it included a complete overhaul of the Child Tax Credit programme, which was first introduced during the Clinton administration. However that stimulus bill only included a single year of funding for the programme, with it set to return to the old system after 12 months. 

The Biden administration is eager to extend the support further and the new infrastructure bill provides enough funding to extend it through 2025, to provide long-term support for American families. 

Is more stimulus needed to continue economic recovery?

On Friday, the Department of Labor will release the unemployment numbers for July, with experts and reporters expecting the delta variant to have slowed job growth. This may well strengthen calls for additional stimulus checks and perhaps an extension to the pandemic unemployment benefits, which are scheduled to finish on 6 September.


What should I do if my Child Tax Credit amount is wrong?

The IRS has already sent out the first payment as part of the new-look Child Tax Credit, the first of its kind in American history. The United States Treasury Department has confirmed that more than 35 million families, with roughly 60 million children, received the support.

The total cost of that first round of payments was $15 billion, meaning that the average payment was $423. However some have found that their payment was less than they expected; what can you do if your Child Tax Credit payment amount is wrong?

Read more

Is additional stimulus support needed to reduce inequality?

It is no secret that the pandemic has affected different demographic groups unequally and there is concern that not enough support is being built into the stimulus efforts to mitigate for that fact.

The Cut dives deep into how Black women have confronted workplace discrimination at alarming rates before and during the pandemic. With unemployment benefits set to end in early September, experts are concerned that inequities could be exacerbated even further.

McConnell tight-lipped on the new infrastructure proposal

The trillion-dollar infrastructure proposal is a markedly smaller that the $2.5 trillion package that Biden has first proposed, but it seems like he may still struggle to find support for it in the Senate. Over the weekend the bill proceded to the floor after a 67-32 bipartisan vote in favour, but the final draft is yet to be agreed and it will now undergo further scrutiny in the Upper House before it move to the House of Representatives. 


California Golden State stimulus check: when is the new payment coming?

With no sign of a fourth stimulus check from the federal government, some states have sought to provide their own short-term financial boost to residents.

On 12 July, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 129 into law, approving the majority of the state’s 2012/22 budgetary agreement. The centre-piece inclusion in the package was the $100 billion California Comeback Plan, the largest economic recovery bill in the state’s history.

It included a round of stimulus checks covering around two-thirds of Californians, which are expected to be sent out in September.

Read more

Child Tax Credit has positive effect on poverty rates

The overhaul of the Child Tax Credit was one of the key inclusions in the American Rescue Plan signed into law by President Biden in March. It provides not only a more generous benefits, but also introduces a new payment structure which will allow families to budget more effectively. 

This report suggests that the new programme has reduced instances of childhood poverty by as much as 61%, strengthening calls for the new Child Tax Credit to be made permanent. 

Should pandemic era stimulus programmes be continued?

Throughout the pandemic the three main support programmes, the stimulus checks, Child Tax Credit expansion and additional unemployment benefits, have been a vital source of finances for vulnerable Americans. However are all due to have ended before the full economic recovery will have been completed. 

This is causing concern that the vital support is being withdrawn too early and could see the US slide back into recession without the correct level of financial stimulus. Biden is currently trying to pass a revised $1 trillion infrastructure plan, but the most recent version contains none of these programmes. 

Good morning and welcome to our dedicated stimulus check and Child Tax Credit live feed, bringing you all the latest developments from Washington, DC as President Biden looks to pass his trillion-dollar infrastructure proposal before Congress breaks for summer.