Fourth stimulus check news summary: 6 October 2021

AS USA

COMMENT

Headlines

- To pay for the reconciliation bill, the Biden administration has proposed a new rule that would allow the IRS to track transaction in bank accounts with a balance over $600.

- California sends out third batch of $600 Golden State stimulus checks.

- How have stimulus checks impacted the economic recovery?

- $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill would lower the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 60.

- Some states are preparing to send their residents a stimulus check in October.

- Many across California are still waiting to receive their stimulus check, how many more batches will be sent?

- More than 1 million new unemployment claims were made in September.

Useful Information/Links

Social Security and Medicare

- What medical conditions qualify you for Social Security checks?

- What are the work requirements to receive Social Security?

- Social Security spousal survivor benefits, explained.

California Golden State Stimulus Checks

- How many more payments remain to be sent in 2021?

- When will the payments arrive and who qualifies?

 

Take a look at some of our related news:

“Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, families across the country will begin receiving monthly Child Tax Credit payments today. In our community, nearly 3 in 4 children will receive these payments, putting money in the pockets of parents to help pay for mortgages, child care, summer learning, and more, as we continue to recover economically from the pandemic."

“The Child Tax Credit will deliver critical resources to families when they need it most, but let’s be clear: families need support well beyond this pandemic. I’m fighting in Congress to permanently expand these Child Tax Credit payments, so our families have the resources needed to thrive this month and into the future.” 

Rep. Lauren Underwood, Remarks on the Child Tax Credit

Manchin gives progressives Child Tax Credit ultimatum

For months the White House has been focused on passing an extension to the Child Tax Credit expansion that came into action in July. The programme, which provides a monthly direct payment worth up to $300 per child, is only funded for a single year and Sen. Joe Manchin appears unwilling to countenance another burst of federal spending. 

Debt deafult would hit Social Security and Child Tax Credit

Unless Congress can agree a raising of the debt ceiling in the next week it looks like the United States could be heading towards a historic first ever debt default. This would send the financial markets into a spin, if allowed to happen, and would have repurcussions for various federally-funded programmes like Social Security and the expanded Child Tax Credit. 

US NEWS

Can a person who has never worked collect Social Security?

The majority of Social Security benefits payments are distributed to seniors who have retired or to those have a disability and have worked for the required number of years. However there are numerous ways for an individual to qualify for Social Security benefits, we take a look at the eligibility requirements...

Read more

Sanders presses Manchin on stimulus proposals

President Biden's economic recovery plan centres around the passage of an ambitious legislative agenda, known as the Build Back Better plan. The package include an extension for the Child Tax Credit, Medicare expansion, universal pre-K and two years of free community college for all Americans. 

However Sen. Joe Manchin has, so far, refused to support a proposal of this size. Sen. Bernie Sanders pressed Manchin on his views during a press conference in Congress. 

GOLDEN STATE STIMULUS CHECKS

Third batch of California stimulus checks: how to check if I received it?

After reported a record-breaking budget surplus for 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California approved a bill that included the sending of stimulus checks to two-thirds of residents in the state. Worth between $600 and $1,100, the huge wave of payments is the largest state-funded stimulus effort to date.

The first two rounds of payments were issued on 27 August and 17 September, and more than 2.6 million checks have already gone out the door. The next round is set to land in bank accounts in the coming days, but how can you check you've received it?

Read more

CNN press Democrats on why they can't get both bills over the line

The pandemic and Latin Americans

Written by Marta Martez, an article in The Lily seeks to show how Latin American, specifically women, workers have been left behind by the swathes covid-19 based support packages. She then goes on to speak to five women to get their opinions on what has happened to them.

Sandra Gomez says, "My husband didn’t want to take me to the hospital, he was so afraid [because we’re undocumented]. I locked myself in a bedroom. I lost sense of time for around six days. It was when I got sick that I said: This is real. I had to let my clients know [that I had contracted covid-19], and they didn’t want me to go back to their houses. Since June 2020, my husband has been the only economic support for the family."

"You’re not living, you’re surviving. Domestic work is not when you choose to do it, but when they need your services. We’re completely invisible. We’re visible when it comes to ensuring everything is clean, but we’re invisible when it comes to our rights," says 34-year old Cindia Martinez.

During the pandemic, less than a third of Spanish-speaking domestic workers received stimulus checks, and more than 90 percent did not receive unemployment benefits.

Social Security

Eligibility and how to apply for Social Security as a permanent resident in the US

Every permanent resident in the US needs a Social Security Number (SSN). Without it, access to some of the must fundamental administrative procedures are impossible.

Organized by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the SSN can be applied for while getting a visa or once you are already in the US. In either case it shouldn't be a problem to receive it if you have the correct documents.

Unemployment Benefits

What is the unemployment reform proposed by the Democrats $3.5 trillion bill?

The three Democrats pushing for enhanced benefits are Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. Despite their push last week, changes to unemployment benefits are not in the initial bill, but there are still many changes that could happen to it.

“This proposal makes a down payment on long-overdue reform to our unemployment system, and was designed to fit in our upcoming package,” Wyden said. “Importantly, it would slow the race to the bottom on benefits, ensuring six months of benefits and coverage for part-time workers."

The changes would ensure states cover 26 weeks of benefits and ensure states are not able to discriminate against workers by determining eligibility based on old wage records. Many states already have 26 weeks of benefits, but some others don't. These are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina and South Carolina. The lowest number of paid weeks is North Carolina, with just 13 weeks of support. All these states have unemployment rates below the national average as of the August figures.

US on track to default on debt for first time in its history

Despite an increase of the debt ceiling being negotiated, as things stand the US is going to default on its external debt.

The BPC, a nonpartisan think tank that closely tracks the debt limit, said the Treasury is likely to miss payments necessary to keep the country solvent between Oct. 19 and Nov. 2. They previously estimated the so-called X date to arrive between Oct. 15 and Nov. 4.

The outcome of a default could be a recession as investor confidences in the US would collapse.

How big will the reconciliation bill be?

Centrist Sen. Joe Manchin on Tuesday signaled he is open to a budget reconciliation bill in the ballpark of $1.9 trillion to $2.2 trillion, above the limit he set just last week of $1.5 trillion.

Manchin and his fellow moderate Sen. Kyrsten Sinema are still far apart from liberals such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who thought the upper chamber had a deal to spend $3.5 trillion on President Biden’s human infrastructure package, but the two sides are inching closer.

Golden State Stimulus

California stimulus check: how many more payments remain to be sent in 2021?

California stimulus check: how many more payments remain to be sent in 2021?

California was able to run a budget surplus over 2020, meaning the state has the money to afford extra stimulus payments outside the federal packages. They are part of the wider $100 billion California Comeback Plan, intended to lift the state out of the covid-19 depression.

Around 2.6 million checks have been sent directly to people's bank accounts in two batches on August 27 and September 17.  Every two weeks, a new batch will be sent until all recipients have received their checks.

October 6 is the first day that mail checks are being sent, with the first ones arriving based on your California zip code.

Read our full coverage for more details.

Consumer Spending and Personal Income: August Report

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has reported that in August, Consumer spending grew by  $130.5 billion, or 0.8 percent in August. More modest increases were seen in terms of personal income with the gross number increasing to "$35.5 billion, or 0.2 percent at a monthly rate."

The BEA traces in increases in income to higher wages and salaries as well as "increases in compensation as well as government social benefits, which reflect advance Child Tax Credit payments authorized by the American Rescue Plan."

Read more.

Nearly 40% of families that recieved paymetns for the Child Tax Credit report that it had a major impact.

US NEWS

$600 tax rule: what transactions would the IRS be able to track?

$600 tax rule: what transactions would the IRS be able to track?

In a recent report by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the agency estimated that the federal government loses around $166 billion in revenue to tax avoidance each year. In hopes of limiting tax evasion, the Biden administration has proposed a new rule that would allow the government to monitor bank accounts with over $600.The move has sparked outrage by Republicans, who see it as a prime example of government overreach.

Read our full coverage for more details on the rule and for the response and objection from key Republican leaders.

Do the majority of Americans support the extension of the Child Tax Credit?

A  new poll from Morning Consult showed that "35% of voters said the payments should be made permanent, including 52% of Democrats and 21% of Republicans."

When attributing responsibility to the expanded credit, 47% of respondents agreed that the move had been led by Democrats, with 38% saying it was thanks to President Biden.

Less than half of independent voters support making the credit's current structure permanent. However, 17% of these voters reported having no opinion which could mean they are waiting to see what the impacts of the program will be.

US NEWS

How long has passed since the first three stimulus checks were sent and how has the US economy changed?

How long has passed since the first three stimulus checks were sent and how has the US economy changed?

The three federal stimulus checks approved by Congress in March and December 2020 and March 2021 made significant impacts on the US economy. In addition to other federal aid, the government was able to boost household incomes and avoid a total economic collapse.

Read our full coverage for more information on how the direct payments helped to improve household well-being.

Have you received more in unemployment compensation that you were expecting?

Newsweek has you covered, it is important to handle the issue in a timely manner as the government may expect you to pay back the amount that was overpaid.

Do most American workers have access to paid or sick leave? 

The Wall Street Journal reported that based on new analysis, the differences in who has access to leave are economic. They found that "many more low-wage, part-time, and hourly workers"  were less likely to have access to the benefit, compared to workers with higher incomes.

While more than 90 percent of the highest earners have access to leave, the rate is a little over thirty for the lowest 10 percent of earners.

Republicans plan to block vote over debt ceiling suspension

In light of Republican opposition to increase or suspend the debt ceiling, Democrats are considering a reform to the filibuster.

The Senate rules regarding the filibuster, mandate that a vote on the debt ceiling receive sixty supporters.

How might the standoff over the debt ceiling end?

The Washington Post took a hard look at the question and published a short article which highlights various outcomes.

US NEWS

When a husband dies does the wife get his Social Security?

When a husband dies does the wife get his Social Security?

Around 11 percent of the payments made by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are directed towards spouses or dependents of deceased workers. If a person eligible to or does receive Social Security benefits dies, the law states that their family can claim them.

Generally, the SSA will pay the benefits to a qualifying widow/widower or a child of the deceased.

Read our full coverage for details on how benefit amounts differ depending on the age and relation of the next of kin.

Janet Yellen stopped by CNBC to talk about pandemic recovery

Sec. Yellen, who formally served as Chairwomen of the Federal Reserve, said she believed that the agency under leadership of Jerome Powell will make the right decision when it comes to inflation.

Additionally, with Chairmen Powell's term coming to an end, she also spoke to the nominees and that she believes "she deserves a fair hearing by the Senate."

SOCIAL SECURITY

At what age is Social Security no longer taxed in the US?

At what age is Social Security no longer taxed in the US?

The vast majority of Americans will be required to pay tax on at least part of their Social Security payments, sometimes as much as 85% of the benefits if their total income exceeds certain thresholds.

Since 1983, Social Security has been subject to taxation but in the intervening four decades no inflation adjustments have been made, so almost all recipients will be required to pay tax on their payments.

Read our full coverage for more details.

IRS continues to encourage eligible families to sign-up to receive Child Tax Credit payments

A few estimates have shown that at least 18% of children eligible have not received the Child Tax Credit. Many of these children live in families where their parents are not required to pay federal income taxes. For that reason, the IRS does not have the necessary information to send the checks.

However, the IRS has worked to create a platform that allows families to sign up directly.

President Biden speaks to how the Child Tax Credit has reduced child poverty in the US

GOLDEN STATE STIMULUS CHECKS

Third batch of California stimulus checks: how to check if I received it?

Third batch of California stimulus checks: how to check if I received it?

About 2.6 million checks have been distributed after the state sent two large batches on 27 August and 17 September. SF GATE reported that this third round of checks would be sent to around 2 million Golden State residents.

The California Franchise Tax Board can be reached by phone, chat, or mail. For information on these modes of communication, read our full coverage.

 

US NEWS

Can a person who has never worked collect Social Security?

Can a person who has never worked collect Social Security?

Around 63 million people in the United States receive Social Security benefits. Primarily the benefits are distributed to seniors who have retired or people with a disability and have worked for the required number of years. 

The only way to receive Social Security benefits if you have not worked is if you are the dependent or spouse of a deceased worker.

Read our full coverage for more details.

Which cities have the highest unemployment rates?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in August 2021, the metro area with the highest unemployment rate was El Centro, California with a rate of 19.4 percent.

Compared to August 2020, only three areas saw a higher unemployment rate in the same month this year. The largest decrease -- of -8.5% -- in the unemployment rate were seen in Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia, Michigan.

What will be cut from the reconciliation bill if they have to "slim it down?"

The New Republic's Timothy Noah undertook the exercise of evaluating which measures included in the $3.5 trillion spending bill could be cut while still maintain many of the most important and popular items.

Noah believes that lowering the Medicare eligibility age should be cut, because it is costly and has fairly widespread support, and thus could be included in a later bill.

Other items to be cut in Noah's analysis include the:

- removal of dental coverage from Medicare (saves $238 billion)

- removal of the Civilian Climate Corps (saves $15 billion)

- limiting the number of families able to receive the Child Tax Credit, and other benefits ($250 billion).

With these cuts and more, Noah was able to get down to the $1.5 trillion mark that more conservative Democrats have said they could support.

Social Security

What medical conditions qualify you for Social Security checks?

What medical conditions qualify you for Social Security checks?

Social Security payments don't just cover seniors, they cover the disabled as well. Both the Supplementary Security Income (SSI) and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments can be attained by having a disability, but both have different requirements. A recipient can have both payments at once, if they satisfy both criteria.

Read our full coverage for a list of the approved medical conditions.

Vote to suspend the debt ceiling to take place this morning

After Republicans have blocked two attempts to suspend the debt ceiling, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is hoping that the third time is the charm.

Leader Schumer has said that he plans to bring the measure to a vote in the Senate this morning. However, it is still unclear whether Republicans will allow it to move forward. Democrats need sixty-votes and so far, no GOP members have thrown their support behind the suspension.

Welcome to our stimulus checks and Child Tax Credit live feed

Hello and welcome to our live feed for Wednesday 6 October, as we bring you the latest news on a potential fourth federal stimulus check in the United States. We'll also provide you with information on the monthly Child Tax Credit scheme - which has so far seen three payments of up to $300 go out to eligible households - and on other benefits available to Americans.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has scheduled a vote to suspend the debt ceiling this morning, but will Republicans allow it to move forward?

.