Fourth stimulus check live updates: new payment in California, unemployment benefits, Child Tax Credit...

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US stimulus checks: live updates - 3 September

Headlines

- Senator Manchin wants a pause in Democrats' push for $3.5 trillion spending bill

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

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

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

- Federal unemployment benefits are set to end on 6 September. Will California and NY 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)

Take a look at some of our related news articles:

Disaster unemployment benefits available in Louisiana 

Hurricane Ida left a path of destruction in its wake after slamming into the Louisiana coast upending countless lives. Those whose livelihood was disrupted by the aftermath of the storm can now claim disaster unemployment compensation.

True state of US economy expected when pandemic unemployment benefits expire 

The US economy came surging back from the depths of the pandemic induced economic crisis fueled by historic stimulus and covid-19 relief measures. These pumped vast amounts of money into the households, businesses and local coffers.  

One measure that kept many households going after losing work due to the pandemic were enhanced federal unemployment benefits which were last extended under the American Rescue Plan. They will finally expire on Labor Day with no additional federal extension in the works, nor state plans to continue the enhanced jobless aid even where unemployment remains stubbornly high.  

Prior to the federal expiration date 26 states opted to cut the benefits early hoping to spur people back into the labor market, blaming the income support for creating labor shortages. The ceasing of those weekly payments didn’t have the large gains in employment that had been expected, but did deny those states’ economies of extra federal funds channeled through the unemployed. Now the states that remained in the programs will also lose the federal funds and the true state of the US economy will be seen just as the nation is experiencing another surge of covid-19.

2021 Child Tax Credit booster for local economies 

The advance payments on the 2021 Child Tax Credit are making a difference for millions of families across the US giving them some financial stability. That money is also expected to give local economies and government coffers additional injections of cash as well. In Indiana alone consumer spending could increase by $700 million according to a recent report. This could lead to the creation of almost 14,000 full-time jobs. All this would translate into more revenue for the state of just shy of $61 million.

GOLDEN STATE STIMULUS

Can I receive a second Golden State Stimulus in California if I got the first payment?

The California Comeback Plan which approved a new round of stimulus checks increasing the number of residents that are eligible. Some Californians will be looking forward to receiving their first check, but others who received a payment in the first round can expect another in the second round.

Who will be getting a second check from the California Franchise Tax Board?

States won’t continue pandemic unemployment benefits 

Labor Day will mark the end of the federal pandemic unemployment benefits put in place to help the millions of Americans who found themselves out of work because of covid-19. Around 7.5 million Americans are expected to go over a benefits cliff when those programs expire in the states which chose to continue the programs until the expiration date.  

States that still have higher than normal unemployment rates were urged to use stimulus funds from the covid-19 relief bills to keep some of the programs going, but it appears that won’t happen. Business Insider reports that Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh hasn’t heard from any of the states regarding extending enhanced payments. This comes as job growth in the US experienced its lowest jobs growth in seven months due to the Delta variant of the covid-19 virus.

Delta variant curbs US job growth, August saw slowest growth in seven months

US employment growth likely pulled back in August after gaining nearly 2 million jobs in the past two months as soaring covid-19 cases reduced demand for travel and entertainment, but the pace was probably enough to sustain the economic expansion.

The Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday would come as economists have been sharply marking down their estimates for the third quarter gross domestic product.

Reasons cited include the resurgence in infections, driven by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, and relentless shortages of raw materials, which are depressing automobile sales and restocking.

Surging covid-19 cases could also have kept some unemployed people home, frustrating efforts by employers to boost hiring.

"The Delta variant is like a sandstorm in an otherwise sunny economy," said Sung Won Sohn, a finance and economics professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. "If it weren't for that, employment in August would have been even higher."

According to a Reuters survey of economists nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 750,000 jobs last month. The economy created 1.881 million jobs in June and July. Should job growth in August meet expectations, that would leave the level of employment about 5 million jobs below its peak in February 2020.

But the forecast is highly uncertain, with estimates ranging from 375,000 to 1.027 million.

Millions of jobless workers are going to suffer when benefits expire on Monday, and it didn’t need to be this way. It’s clear from the economic and health conditions on the ground that we shouldn’t be cutting off benefits now.

Ron Wyden US Senator from Oregon, Senate Finance Chairman

GOLDEN STATE STIMULUS CHECK

How many people are receiving second Golden State Stimulus check in California?

The Franchise Tax Board began sending around two thirds of eligible Californians a new round of Golden State Stimulus payments at the end of August.

Who will be getting a payment in the second round?

IRS will give families up to $8,000 tax break for child care costs 

Parents are receiving monthly payments for each of their children this year from the 2021 Child Tax Credit. These are advance payments on the expanded tax credit for next year. Households that chose to opt out of the advance payments will receive their entitlement next year with their tax refund.

But both groups could claim an even more valuable tax credit, the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, which could reimburse taxpayers up to $8,000 in child care expenses, but you’ll need to hold onto your receipts. 

Two jailed over fraudulent filings for unemployment benefits and tax refunds 

A US District Court in Georgia sentenced two men for a scheme unemployment and covid-19 relief claims as well as filing fraudulent tax refunds since 2018 and then laundering the money. Bamidele Muraina, a Nigerian national using stolen personally identifiable information filed fraudulent unemployment benefit claims and tax returns by hacking into tax preparation firms. His accomplice Gabriel Kalembo, a previously convicted fraudster, laundered the fraudulent assets. Both men were sentenced to federal prison.

Our planet is burning. Our infrastructure is crumbling.  Child care, health care, & higher education are out of reach for far too many Americans.

We can't “pause” our response to these crises. We must meet them head-on by passing a Build Back Better bill that meets this moment.

Mondaire Jones (D) US Representative NY-17, Response to Sen. Joe Manchin op-ed on Democrat spending bill

Former mail carrier sentenced to jail for stealing stimulus checks 

The US Attorney office in Boston announced that former postal worker Angela Gomez was sentenced to three months in prison and ordered to pay back the money she stole from deliveries along her route.

Ms Gomez took approximately $5,000 worth of stimulus payments intended for customers on her route. Additionally she stole gift and ATM cards which she used to make over $16,000 in fraudulent purchases and ATM withdrawals.

She got three months probation on top of the time in jail.

JOBS REPORT

How did the unemployment rate change in August? Will lawmakers extend benefits past 6 September?

The Labor Department has released jobs data for August and the figures suggest that the United States’ economic recovery is slowing as the Delta variant continues to spread across the country.

The unfortunate data comes as the federal government prepares to remove all additional pandemic unemployment benefits this weekend, causing concern that millions will be left without jobs and without suitable support. 

Read more

Newsom confirms that Golden State stimulus checks are on their way

In a video address posted on his Twitter account, California Gov. Gavin Newsom confirmed that the next round of stimulus checks are on their way to an estimate two-thirds of residents. The additional payments are past of Newsom's California Comeback Plan, the $100 billion financial relief package passed earlier this year. 

The California Franchise Tax Board began making the payments on 1 September and is expected to continue the distribution process in the coming weeks. 

Calls for Child Tax Credit extension

Sen. Cory Brooker has been one of the most vocal proponents of the Child Tax Credit expansion and has pushed Congress to agree on an extension. He points out that the the long-term consequences of childhood poverty cost the United State $1 trillion each year, vastly more than the programme itself costs. 

In the first month alone, the CTC was linked to a 25% decrease in childhood poverty and evidence suggests that the changed system gets more of the money to low-income families than ever before. 

CHILD TAX CREDIT

How has the Child Tax Credit impacted household income in the US?

The expanded Child Tax Credit was designed to provide additional support for American families as they struggle through the economic fallout of the pandemic. Currently, the beefed-up programme is only funded for one year but there are hopes that it can be extended further.

The early signs suggest that it is having a positive effect on American society and has been linked to an increase in household income for July, the first month in which the payments were sent.

Read more

Make sure you don't miss out on the Child Tax Credit monthly payments

The IRS is still working to ensure that all eligible families are signed up for the Child Tax Credit programme. In the past, households earning below a certain threshold were not eligible for the full entitlement.

Removing that threshold has made the full amount available to an additional 27 million children who would previously have missed out on some or all of the money. Here's everything you need to know to get registered to start receiving the monthly payments of up to $300 per child.  

 

GOLDEN STATE STIMULUS CHECKS

2nd Golden State Stimulus in California: how much will taxpayers with dependents receive?

The California Franchise Tax Board (CFTB) is currently in the process of sending out the Golden State stimulus checks for Californians, and will do so on the basis of one's 2020 tax return. In order to receive a check a tax return must be filed, regardless if a person is required or not to submit one usually, by 15 October 2021.

The new stimulus checks are part of Gov. Newsom's California Comeback Plan, which expands eligibility for the payments considerably. But who is in line to get the money?

Read more

Stimulus checks boost consumer spending

The influx of federal money that hit banks accounts earlier this year had a significant effect on consumer spending with many sectors reporting increased sales in the months after the stimulus checks were distributed. However one less predictable consequence is the effect it's had on the second hand car market, which is also benefitting from the cash boost. 

If you have an extra car to sell it’s a great time — there may never be another time greater than this,” said Eric Ibara, director of residual values at Kelley Blue Book, a subsidiary of Cox Automotive.

Unemployment Benefits

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

Millions of Americans are set to lose their additional pandemic unemployment benefits stripped from them this weekend after nearly 18 months. They were first introduced in March 2020 to offer extra financial support during the pandemic and the US is not out of the covid-19 woods just yet.

A number of states had opted to withdraw from the federal programmes early and had denied their residents access to the relief. But is there a chance that the unemployment benefits could be extended in some states beyond this weekend's deadline? 

Read more

"I say to my colleagues in Congress: 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

New online portal to register for the Child Tax Credit

In response to reports that some families were struggling to sign up for the Child Tax Credit, the Treasury and White House have combined to introduce a new online portal which should make it easier to register for and oversee your CTC payments.

The new resource is available in both England and Spanish and is mobile-friendly, and you can access it at GetCTC.

FOURTH STIMULUS CHECK

Which states have new stimulus payments in September?

Although covid-19 is continuing to disrupt lives across the country, it doesn’t appear that calls for an additional cash direct cash injection in the form of a fourth stimulus check will arrive for American households anytime soon. However some Americans will be receiving an additional stimulus payment in September, from local authorities. 

A number of states have followed the lead of California's Golden State stimulus checks and are enacting their own direct payments for residents. Here's the states who are offering the money, and how much it could be worth...

Read more

Manchin distances himself from stimulus spending proposals

In what could be a crucial moment in the push for more financial support, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has tweeted his view that Congress should resist the urge to pass any new stimulus legislation through reconciliation. Manchin is considered perhaps the most important of all senators with the Senate currently split 50-50 between the two parties. 

Manchin is the most moderate of the Democrats and often threatens to vote with the GOP on economic issues, as he did when Biden was trying to pass the American Resuce Plan earlier this year. Manchin appeared likely to vote against the $1.9 trillion package at one point, which would have prevented the $1,400 stimulus checks from being sent out in the spring. 

Democrats remain bullish on Child Tax Credit impact

The expanded Child Tax Credit has been a particular focus for the Democrats in recent months as they look to build awareness of the more generous new programme. Early figures suggest that the payments are having the desired effect and are helping to drastically reduce the number of children living in poverty in the United States. 

This data will likely strengthen calls for the single year of funding to be extended through 2025, as President Biden has called for with his American Families Plan package. However many Democrats in Congress believe this doesn't go far enough and are insisting that the expanded programme be made permanent. 

Calculating your Golden State payment


The California Franchise Tax Board (CFTB) launched a handy tool, the Golden State Stimulus II Amount Estimator to help those who believe they are eligible to calculate their payment total.


The tool will ask you questions related to your tax filing status, annual income, whether you file with a Social Security Number or an Individual Tax Identification Number, and questions related to your California residency.

NH

 US job growth seen slowing in August as Delta variant curbs services demand

U.S. employment growth likely pulled back in August after gaining nearly 2 million jobs in the past two months as soaring covid-19 cases reduced demand for travel and entertainment, but the pace was probably enough to sustain the economic expansion.

The Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday would come as economists have been sharply marking  down their gross domestic product estimates for the third quarter.

Reasons cited include the resurgence in infections, driven by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, and relentless shortages of raw materials, which are depressing automobile sales and restocking.

Surging covid-19 cases could also have kept some unemployed people home, frustrating efforts by employers to boost hiring.

"The Delta variant is like a sandstorm in an otherwise sunny economy," said Sung Won Sohn, a finance and economics professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. "If it weren't for that, employment in August would have been even higher."

According to a Reuters survey of economists nonfarm payrolls likely increased by 750,000 jobs last month. The economy created 1.881 million jobs in June and July. Should job growth in August meet expectations, that would leave the level of employment about 5 million jobs below its peak in February 2020.

But the forecast is highly uncertain, with estimates ranging from 375,000 to 1.027 million.

USD

Dollar sinks to one-month low before payrolls test

The dollar sank to its lowest in almost a month against major rivals on Friday, ahead of a crucial U.S. jobs report that could spur the Federal Reserve to an earlier tapering of stimulus.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six peers, was little changed at 92.207 after earlier touching 92.151 for the first time since Aug. 5. The euro was also mostly flat at $1.1878, after hitting the highest since Aug. 4 at $1.1884, supported by regional inflation at a decade high and hawkish rhetoric from European Central Bank officials ahead of a policy meeting on Sept. 9.

JB

Democrats need every vote for $3.5 trillion spending bill

Joe Biden's Democrats have literally no votes to spare if they are to push the spending legislation through Congress this autumn. They are seeking to advance it in the 50-50 Senate through a special budget reconciliation process that would allow it to pass with a simple majority in the chamber, where legislation usually requires 60 votes to advance. Democratic Vice President Kamala  Harris holds the tie-breaking vote.

Democrats hold a razor-thin majority in the House as well, and with no Republican support expected for the $3.5 trillion plan, Manchin's opinion - or that of any single Democratic lawmaker - matters.

Another moderate Democrat, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, has also said she will not support $3.5 trillion in spending.

Manchin's opinion piece appeared a day after he made similar comments to the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Progressive Democrats - many of whom have threatened not to back the $1 trillion infrastructure plan if the $3.5 trillion spending package does not pass the Senate - responded forcefully.

"Pause on finally delivering child care, paid leave, education, health care, affordable housing, climate action, and dental, vision, and hearing to millions of families across America? Absolutely not," Representative Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, wrote on Twitter.

IRS warns against 'phising' online tactics

The Internal Service Revenue warns customers about the danger of online imposters looking at ways of securing personal data and information.

US Senator Manchin wants a pause in Democrats' push for $3.5 trillion spending bill

Joe Manchin on Thursday urged fellow Democrats to pause in their push to enact a $3.5 trillion spending bill encompassing much of President Joe Biden's domestic agenda, casting doubt on whether and when they will be able to advance the package.

"Instead of rushing to spend trillions on new government programs and additional stimulus funding, Congress should hit a strategic pause on the budget-reconciliation legislation,"

Manchin, a moderate West Virginia lawmaker, wrote in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal. Democrats in the House of Representatives and Senate are currently crafting legislation to fill in the details of a $3.5 trillion spending outline that both chambers approved last month.

The package, which Democratic leaders hope to pass in the coming weeks along with a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, would advance progressives' ambitious plans to fight climate change and expand childcare, healthcare and other social programs. But Democrats need to keep the party unified to get both plans through.

"I for one, won't support a $3.5 trillion bill, or anywhere near that level of additional spending, without greater clarity about why Congress chooses to ignore the serious effects inflation and debt have on existing government programs," Manchin wrote in the Journal.

GOLDEN STATE STIMULUS CHECKS

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

California will use its massive budget surplus to provide more direct payments and economic relief for Californians, but who is entitled to a payment?

GOLDEN STATE STIMULUS CHECKS

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.

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.

Stimulus checks and Child Tax Credit live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live blog on Friday 3 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.

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