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Fourth stimulus check and child tax credit: summary 2 September

(FILES) In this file photo US President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House about the final pullout of US troops from Afghanistan August 31, 2021, in Washington, DC. - An interpreter who helped rescue US President Joe Biden in a 2

US stimulus checks: live updates - 2 September


- Wall Street scales new heights, powered by tech stocks

- More than three million people could face eviction in the coming months.

- Millions of tax payers have yet to see their tax refund, which are expected to be larger this year thanks to more generous federal credits and benefits. (Full story)

- First batch of California's $600 Golden State stimulus checks are heading out the door today. (Full story)

- How much were the first, second and third stimulus checks and when were they sent out? (Full story)

- To support immigrant families, members of mixed status households will be able to claim a Golden State stimulus check. (Full story)

- Some states will be sending their own stimulus checks in September. (Which ones?)

- Federal unemployment benefits are set to end on 6 September, but will California and New York and others continue the payments? (Full story)

Useful information / links

- Golden State Stimulus Checks | How to track your payment (Details)

- Third Child Tax Credit payment will be sent on 15 September, when is the last day to opt-out? (Details)

- How many more payments for the Child Tax Credit will be sent this year? (Details)

- What's the proposal in Congress to regulate tax preparers? (Details)

- What pandemic programs will remain once extra unemployment benefits end? (More info)

- When should I contact the IRS if my tax refund hasn't arrived? (More info)

Take a look at some of our related news articles:

Where is the second $600 Golden State stimulus check? How can I track its status?


Where is the second $600 Golden State stimulus check? How can I track its status?

Golden State stimulus checks worth $600 begin to hit bank accounts after being signed into law by Gov. Newsom on 13 July. Here is how to track the payment.

Could unemployment benefits be extended after their end on Labor Day?

Unemployment Benefits

Could unemployment benefits be extended after their end on Labor Day?

It is just days before the end of the extra pandemic benefits but it looks like states have no intention of extending them, despite calls from Biden's camp.

Child Tax Credit helping families who need it most

US Census Bureau surveys are offering an early glimpse of how households are spending $30 billion in enhanced child tax credits that have been distributed so far in two monthly payments. Families who earn less than $50,000 a year are focusing first on paying off debt.

How many people have died in the flooding across the North East?

New York

How many people have died in the flooding across the North East?

The epicenter of the damage has been across New York and New Jersey, with videos all over the internet showing flooded subways and submerged cars. New York CIty subway is largely closed due to the damage and risk to life.

The majority of the 41 deaths so far have been from people trapped in cars and basements as water levels rose. Both New York and New Jersey have declared states of emergency to help rescue those who are trapped in the destruction.

Speaking about Storm Ida, the president said, "This destruction is everywhere, it's a matter of life and death and we are all in this together. This is one of the great challenges of our time but I'm confident we will meet it."

Much of the extreme weather can be attributed to the climate catastrophe that has seen one of the strangest summer weathers throughout the planet. Europe has witnessed extreme flooding all summer, with huge damage in Germany and floods in Spain as recently as Thursday.

Read more here

No infrastructure bill without budget says Sanders

The tweet can be seen as a warning shot to Joe Manchin, who poured months of work as the key Democrat negotiator on the infrastructure bill. Manchin has been trying to water down many aspects, including on addressing the climate catastrophe.

Leading us on to...

What goods are normally consumed on Labor Day in the US?

For more information on the new holiday, check out our full coverage.

How many people now face eviction after the Supreme Court's decision to overturn the President Biden's eviction moratorium?

Jacobin reports that as the federal eviction moratorium is overturned by the Supreme Court, more than 3.5 million people reported to the US Census Bureau that they were "likely to face eviction in the coming months."

When the pandemic began, the CDC implemented a ban on evictions to avoid, "hordes" of people kicked from their homes, entering shelters which could lead to a further surge in cases. Additionally, only six states and the District of Colombia have implemented their own moratoriums, leaving the millions that lost their job or were unable to access federal benefits vulnerable.

The Supreme Court released an unsigned ruling that sided with landlords who had filed a suit to stop the administration from extending the moratorium. The three more liberal justices, Justice Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, dissented stating that the case, the CDC had scaled back the ban, by targeting "only those regions currently experiencing sky-rocketing rates."

Read the full story here.


How much has the US GDP increased in the second quarter of 2021?

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released new data showing that in the second quarter of 2021 (April to June), GDP increased, "at an annual rate of 6.6 percent." This comes after a "real GDP increased 6.3 percent," in the first quarter.

Read the full report here.

How have levels of unemployment changed since the beginning of the pandemic?

The Hill released a new video of a townhall hosted by Senator Cortez Masto where she explained the impacts the Child Tax Credit have had on levels of child poverty in the US.

Are undocumented families receiving the payments for the Child Tax Credit?

In theory, these families are supposed to be receiving the payments but new reporting shows that it is not the case.

Unemployment benefits lawsuit in Florida: why has the judge denied its restoration?

Latest News

Unemployment benefits lawsuit in Florida: why has the judge denied its restoration?

Unemployment benefits lawsuit in Florida: why has the judge denied its restoration?

After a group of lawyers brought a case forward compelling the state of Florida to reinstate federal unemployment benefits, a judge has ruled that the programs will not need to be continued.

Leon County Circuit Judge Layne Smith denied a temporary injunction against the state on Monday. “Ultimately, Gov. DeSantis' strategy to promote reemployment by ending Florida’s participation in the FPUC program is a political issue that the voters can approve or reject at the ballot box,” Smith said in his ruling.

If the lawsuit was successful, then the $300 unemployment benefit would have resumed, but the state would not  have needed to pay the payments that had been with held since the Floridian Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) terminated its agreement with the Department of Labor.

Read more on the case in our full coverage.

How does the Buerau of Labor Statistics measure "productivity"?

Watch this short explainer video to find out.

Where is the second $600 Golden State stimulus check? How can I track its status?


Where is the second $600 Golden State stimulus check? How can I track its status?

Where is the second $600 Golden State stimulus check? How can I track its status?

On 13 July, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law that will allow for the sending of the second round of direct payments. Those who received a check during the first round are not eligible for a second.

However, taxpayers in the care of children who meet the income requirements will receive an additional $500 payment.

The California Franchise Tax Board (CFTB), which is responsible for distributing the checks, has updated its website to provide support to those hoping to track their payment.

Read our full coverage for details.

Hackers stole billions in unemployment benefits

Earlier this year various federal agencies announced that foreign hackers managed to steal hundreds of billions of dollars worth of unemployment benefits.

Today, the Department of Justice has announced that some have been sentenced for their participation in the scheme. In a press release, the DoJ U.S. Attorney’s Office from the Northern District of Georgia stated that "“These defendants stole funds from programs meant to assist American workers and families seeking to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “The collaborative efforts of our law enforcement partners were essential to disrupting a sophisticated network of criminals and bringing their leaders to justice.”

Initial unemployment claims hit lowest level since March 2020

With federal unemployment programs scheduled to end on 6 September, many were anxiously awaiting the claims data for last week.

Today, 2 September, the Department of Labor released their report showing that initial claims hit "340,000, a decrease of
14,000 from the previous week's revised level

Which states saw the largest increase in initial claims?

1. Illinois (+3,832)

2. Florida (+2,545)

3. Maryland (+1,723)

4. Oregon (+1,377)

5. New Jersey (+837)

Which states saw the largest decrease in initial claims?

1. Michigan (-6,757)

2. Virginia (-4,670)

3. Texas (-3,040)

4. Ohio (-1,515)

5. Georgia (-1,407)

Read the weekly report here.

When is the last day to claim weekly unemployment benefits in NY?


When is the last day to claim weekly unemployment benefits in NY?

When is the last day to claim weekly unemployment benefits in NY?

Pandemic related unemployment programs established to help the millions of workers who lost their job when the crisis first began will come to an end on 6 September.

For many workers still claiming benefits this means that they will be unable to claim benefits as the weeks as many have exhausted all of weeks available.

Rear our full coverage for more on the case of New York.

"This tax cut for working families is something we should extend, not end, next year.

"And I say to all of you watching: Make sure your family, friends, and community know about this tax cut.  Send to them, as I said, ChildTaxCredit.gov to learn more about the difference this is going to make in their lives."

President Biden, Statement on the Child Tax Credit

Golden State stimulus checks are now going out 

The California Franchise Tax Board (CFTB) is currently in the process of distributing stimulus checks to an estimated two-thirds of Californians as part of the California Comeback Plan. The $100 billion relief bill was passed by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this year and it provides direct payments for the majority of the state's residents. 

As part of the expanded stimulus check programme, more groups will be eligible for the payments and they should all be distributed in the coming weeks. 

How many Child Tax Credit payments are left?

Child Tax Credit

How many Child Tax Credit payments are left?

The American Rescue Plan completely overhauled the Child Tax Credit payment system, splitting the credit into a series of monthly payments with a final lump sum when it comes to tax filing time. The programme currently has funding for just one year but there are already many attempts to see it extended further. 

The monthly payments began going out earlier this summer, but how many are left and what is the total value for eligible families?

Read more

How to sign up for the Child Tax Credit

To make registration easier, the Treasury Department has introduced a new online tool to allow families to sign up for and manage the expanded Child Tax Credit payments. Early evidence shows that the payments have helped tackle childhood poverty across the US but there is concern that the payments are not getting to all those in need. 


Second Golden State stimulus check: how much do dependants and undocumented workers get?


Second Golden State stimulus check: how much do dependants and undocumented workers get?

Back in May the California legilsature passed the California Comeback Plan, a huge stimulus package aimed at boosting the state's economic recovery. One of the key features of the bill was a new round of stimulus checks that will be sent to around two-thirds of all Californians.

For this round of payments, all taxpayers who make less than $75,000 will receive a direct payment worth $600, provided they did not receive the recent Golden State stimulus check. And for the first time some new groups will be entitled to receive a payment. 

Read more

IRS warns of increase in stimulus check scams

Although the vast majority of federal stimulus checks have now been distributed the IRS and other tax authorities are still sending out payments. The federal body are continuing to send money to those who have recently become eligible for a payment, and a number of states have passed their own stimulus check bills. 

However with this comes the added threat of scams as fraudsters look to take advantage of the money. Jim Lee, thechief of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, has released a statement warning: "Even though taxpayers have received multiple rounds of Economic Impact Payments, we saw phishing scams surge this summer."

Lee added, "The number of reported scam attempts reached levels we haven't seen in more than a decade. More than ever, it is important for taxpayers to continue to protect their personal information and not fall victim to these scams."

More calls to make the Child Tax Credit permanent

As it stands, the expanded Child Tax Credit will only last for one year but there are already attempts underway to see it extended or even made permanent. Rep. Pramila Jayapal has been a consistant supporter of the programme and outlines the positive impact that it has already had. 


When is the last day to claim weekly unemployment benefits in California?


When is the last day to claim weekly unemployment benefits in California?

California has one of the biggest economies in the world but the lack of tourism and business closures over the past 18 months have hit the state’s workers hard. When the additional programmes come to an end this week The Century Foundation estimates that millions of Californians will lose access to the support.

But when is the last day of the pandemic additional unemployment support, and what programmes are in place beyond there to offer relief for out-of-work residents?

Read more

Stimulus checks mean little for some Americans

One of President Biden's first priorities upon entering the White House was to pass a large-scale stimulus bill, which he did with the American Rescue Plan in March. That sent out a round of $1,400 stimulus check to the vast majority of Americans, but not everyone seems satisfied with the payment. 

New research from Civiqs found that 57% of respondees thought that Biden had done nothing for them since entering office. Perry Bacon Jr issued a follow-up tweet to this, saying: "this survey suggest people's perceptions of what is happening in America are heavily influenced by partisanship."

IRS tax refund delay: how many are unprocessed in August?

Tax Refunds

IRS tax refund delay: how many are unprocessed in August?

For much of 2021 the IRS has been working to clear a huge backlog of unprocessed tax returns dating back to the previous tax year. Throughout the pandemic the IRS has been tasked with overseeing various other programmes, such as distributing the stimulus checks and introducing the new Child Tax Credit system. 

The backlog of returns has had a knock-on effect for those waiting for a tax refund, with millions of people being forced to wait to receive their payment. 

Read more

How much should you receive from the Child Tax Credit?

The IRS will begin sending out the third round of Child Tax Credit monthly payments later this month as part of the expanded programme which launched in August. Each household's entitlement is based on information provided in the most recent tax filings, but some people have reported being underpaid. 

To check how much you should be getting, try out this free-to-use Child Tax Credit calculator...

Which states have new stimulus payments in September?


Which states have new stimulus payments in September?

The US has sent out three rounds of stimulus checks since the covid-19 pandemic induced economic crisis began in the spring of 2020. Eligible Americans received up to $3,200 from Uncle Sam and some are still seeing additional payments from the Economic Impact Payments.

However with Congress showing no signs of passing another round of direct payments in the near future, a number of states are taking matters into their own hands and are issuing their own stimulus checks. On 1 September California began sending out the next round of Golden State stimulus checks, but which other states are planning something similar?

Read more

New Child Tax Credit portal goes live

Despite the success of the new Child Tax Credit portal (childhoold poverty in the US is said to have fallen by 25% in the first month of the new programme) there are concerns that not everyone is able to access the support.

Eligibility for the onthly payments is based on information provided to the IRS in recent tax returns. However not everyone is required to file a tax return and low-income households may have to provide their details separately to trigger payment. To help with this effort, the new GetCTC online portal allow families to register for and control their Child Tax Credit entitlements easily and efficiently. 

Billions of stimulus money remains unused

When it was signed into law back in March, the American Rescue Plan provided a massive $1.9 trillion of federal funding to help mediate the short-term consequences of covid-19. Some elements, such as the $1,400 stimulus checks, were triggered as soon as the package was passed but many other facets are yet to be distributed. 

There is still tens of billions of dollars worth of stimulus spending, for everything from nursing homes to business grants, that is yet to be used. The pressure will be on Biden to ensure that the money goes out to those in need promptly or the economic recovery could suffer. 

Child Tax Credit keeps 3 million children out of poverty

The monthly payments the government started sending out to eligible families in July are already saving three million children from falling below the poverty line — and that's just with one payment.

Full article via Insider


Global markets shrug off growth worries

World stocks climbed on Wednesday, with investors looking beyond economic data that pointed towards slowing growth to focus on a likely continuation of massive central bank stimulus measures.

The Euro STOXX 600 rose as much as 0.9% before trimming gains a tad, just shy of its all-time high.

Indexes in Paris and London added 1% and 0.6% respectively. Travel & leisure and insurance stocks were among the top gainers.

Wall Street futures gauges also pointed to early gains of around 0.3%.

The upbeat tone for equities came in spite of signs that Asia's factory activity lost momentum in August. A resurgence in  coronavirus cases disrupted supply chains across the region, with the data likely to raise concerns that faltering manufacturing will add to economic headaches caused by slumping consumption.

Yet many market players remained cautiously positive on prospects for equities in particular, with many expecting central bank stimulus measures to remain and companies to report strong earnings.

"We've clearly witnessed a deceleration of macro data from the months before," said Olivier Marciot, senior portfolio manager with Unigestion


Boost for global airline industry as Ryanair confirm August numbers

The global airline business got a shot in the arm after Dublin based Ryanair said it flew 11.1 million passengers in August, 75% of the number the budget airline carried in August 2019 before covid-19 pandemic hammered the industry.

Chief Executive Michael O'Leary had told Reuters on Tuesday that the airline was on target to exceed its 10.5 million target for August this year.

The Irish airline, Europe's largest by passenger numbers, said the load factor for August was 82%, which means an average of 18% seats were not filled during the month.

O'Leary had said in his interview with Reuters that capacity should return to pre-pandemic levels in October, saying he expected numbers to be close to 90% in September.

But he said the airline was likely to fly with an average of 15%-20% empty seats on planes this winter compared with 7%-8% before the pandemic.

Labor Day 2021 weekend sales: Costco, Home Depot, and Target

Labor Day 2021

Labor Day 2021 weekend sales: Costco, Home Depot, and Target

Labor Day is fast approaching and many companies are doing deals to coincide with the holiday. Check out some of the best deals here.


US manufacturing activity rises as shortages linger

U.S. manufacturing activity unexpectedly picked up in August amid strong order growth, but a measure of factory employment dropped to a nine-month low, likely as workers remained scarce. The survey from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) on Wednesday continued to highlight persistent problems securing enough raw materials, a situation worsened by disruptions caused by the latest wave of covid-19 infections, primarily in Southeast Asia, as well as ports congestion in China.

Wall St

Wall Street scales new heights, powered by tech stocks

Wall Street's main indexes marched on, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hitting record highs on Wednesday, as fresh technology stock buying combined with hopes the Federal Reserve would keep the stimulus taps open after weaker-than-expected private payrolls data.

Technology stocks, which tend to benefit from a low-rate environment, were up 0.5%. Apple Inc rose 1.2% to its second record high this week, and Microsoft Corp , Amazon.com Inc and Google-owner Alphabet Inc all advanced between 0.4% and 1.4%.

Sectors considered as bond-proxies or defensive including utilities, consumer discretionary and real estate were also among the top performers, rising between 0.5% and 1.6%.

IRS warns customers

The Internal Revenue Service warns customers against crank calls with criminals looking to secure key personal information.

Second Golden State stimulus in California: how can you receive your payment?


Second Golden State stimulus in California: how can you receive your payment?

Two-thirds of California residents will receive a $600 Golden State stimulus check from the state government in light of a historic budget surplus.

Golden State Stimulus in California coming in September: what to do before its arrival


Golden State Stimulus in California coming in September: what to do before its arrival

Payments for the 2nd round of Golden State Stimulus checks are slated to go out on 1 September, what do you need to do to claim? Our team took a look.

When is the last day to claim weekly unemployment benefits in NY?


When is the last day to claim weekly unemployment benefits in NY?

The federally-funded additional jobless support is set to end soon, but how long is left to make a claim for any back payments you may be owed?

Stimulus checks and Child Tax Credit live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live blog on Thursday 2 September 2021, providing you with the latest updates on a potential fourth stimulus check, and information on the expanded Child Tax Credit, a scheme which so far has seen two monthly payments of up to $300 per child go out to qualifying American households.

We'll also bring you news on other economic-aid measures in the US, such as unemployment benefits and food assistance programs.