Fourth stimulus check: summary 17 october

AS USA

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Fourth stimulus check live updates: Social Security increase, Medicare enrollment, Child Tax Credit...

Headlines

- Social Security Administration announces 5.9% COLA for 2022, the largest in 39 years

- Who on Social Security could see a $1,100 increase in their benefit amount?

- Several states have begun distributing stimulus and hazard checks

- Calls for a fourth stimulus check for those on Social Security grow

Useful Information/Links

- Which states have no income tax and no property tax?

Child Tax Credit

- IRS have begun distributing the fourth Child Tax Credit payment.

Golden State Stimulus Checks

- What is the deadline to file taxes in California and receive a stimulus check?

Medicare

- What are the 2022 Medicare premiums?

Social Security

- What is the maximum amount of money that can be claimed on Social Security in 2022?

- When does COLA 2022 take effect for Social Security Benefits?

- Can a married couple collect two Social Security checks?

- How much will the Social Security Cost-of-Living Adjustment increase be in 2022?

- Social Security benefits calculator

Read through some of our related news articles:

“From personal experience, I know that families living in poverty already face so many challenges. So for me, the expansion of the Child Tax Credit means that my family will have more of a stepping stone to get ahead in a ‘just getting by’ world."

“[The expanded Child Tax Credit] would help me provide the essentials like food, housing, and reliable transportation while also helping me maintain a nurturing environment for my son to develop into a successful member of the community.”

Ambrosia Berg, Child Tax Credit recipient, Colorado

Ending enhanced federal pandemic unemployment benefits a mistake

Proponents of ending the extraordinary unemployment benefits that kept millions of American housesolds above water during the pandemic claimed that they were holding people back from re-entering the workforce.

However, neither when they were ended early nor when the programs expired in September was there a rush to get back into the laborforce.  The unemployment rate decreased from 5.2 percent in August to 4.8 percent in September but that was primarily due to workers leaving the market completely.

What would limits to Child Tax Credit mean?

Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia is one of two centrist Democrats holding back their vote on President Biden's signature Build Back Better agenda  in the upper chamber. Democrats need all 50 votes they can muster in the Senate if they want to pass the ambitious spending proposal along party lines.

Manchin would like to see the price tag of the plan cut by around two thirds. His proposal to do that would be to cut out three of four family-focused programs giving colleagues the choice to keep paid family leave, universal pre-K, childcare subsidizes or the extension of the Child Tax Credit.

Furthmore he has told the White House the Child Tax Credit must include a firm work requirement and family income cap in the $60,000 range, people familiar with the matter have told Axios. Looking at the math that income limit would put the benefits of the program out of reach of many American families struggling to get by.
 

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Why could the IRS ask for stimulus money back?

The federal government sent eligible Americans three rounds of Economic Impact Payments or better know as stimulus checks. The IRS automatically sent out the payments based on the information that the agency had when the direct payments were authorized. Any overpayments in those checks were protected from being reclaimed by the government.

However, some taxpayers didn’t get all that they were eligible for at the time the stimulus checks went out. This was due to the information the IRS used differing from the actual financial or family situation when the payments were sent out. Taxpayers though, could claim any additional funds coming their way through the Recovery Rebate Credit on 2020 tax returns.

But a math error meant some taxpayers might have claimed too much and they didn't pay the IRS enough in taxes.

Greg Heilman explains why the IRS may ask for the money back.

Buttigieg on supply chain issues

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says the supply-chain issues facing the US will remain into next year...

MEDICARE

What is a Medicare wellness exam? How can I schedule a wellness visit?

If you have been enrolled in Medicare Part B for a year or longer you are eligible to request an annual wellness test, also known as a wellness visit. This will see your doctor carry out a series of tests on you to produce a personalised prevention plan against disease and disability.

Here's everything you need to know to get signed up...

Read more

MEDICARE

Does Medicare cover hearing aids or eye exams?

But Medicare was first introduce in 1965 and, despite covering more than 62 million people currently, is far from exhaustive. Some major healthcare sectors are not currently covered by the programme, although progressives in Congress are fighting to see additional services covered by a Medicare expansion. 

Read more

Families show their support for Child Tax Credit expansion

The IRS sent out the fourth round of Child Tax Credit monthly payments on Friday and calls for the programme to be extended beyond December are growing louder. Moderates in Congress like Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Krysten Sinema have stated their reluctance to support an extension of the Child Tax Credit, but President Biden is determined not to let the popular, effective programme expire. 

US NEWS

Will SSI get a fourth stimulus check?

The idea of a universal fourth stimulus check for Americans appears to have disappeared, with President Biden focused instead on the American Rescue Plan and an enhanced Child Tax Credit. That said, there is a possibility that a more targeted payment could still be made to a certain group of American citizens, and they're pushing for that to happen.

Read more

“From personal experience, I know that families living in poverty already face so many challenges. So for me, the expansion of the Child Tax Credit means that my family will have more of a stepping stone to get ahead in a ‘just getting by’ world."

“[The expanded Child Tax Credit] would help me provide the essentials like food, housing, and reliable transportation while also helping me maintain a nurturing environment for my son to develop into a successful member of the community.” 

Ambrosia Berg, Child Tax Credit recipient, Colorado

Child Tax Credit likely to only be included with major restrictions

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has told the White House the Child Tax Credit must include a firm work requirement and family income cap in the $60,000 range, people familiar with the matter have told Axios.

Manchin also continues to privately tell colleagues the president’s Clean Electricity Performance Program, a cornerstone of Democrats' plan to achieve zero-carbon electricity, is a non-starter.

Millions of Americans have quit their jobs this year

Data from the Washington Post shows how record numbers of Americans are leaving their jobs, and over 30 million have resigned this year.

Workers have the opportunity to push for greater pay and rights as employers are fighting over one of the smallest number of available workers in years. More than 10 million jobs are vacant, giving workers the opportunity to push and push.

US NEWS

The Great Resignation: Why are Americans quitting their jobs at record-high numbers?

In August, 4.3 million US workers, almost 3 percent of the entire American workforce, voluntarily left their positions, the highest number since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking “quits” in 2020. The reasons for this remarkable number are numerous and complex but one thing is for certain; the pandemic has had a huge effect on how workers perceive themselves in the workplace

This huge number of resignations comes at a time of great labor unrest in the US. Nearly 100,000 workers are on strike in October, perhaps the grievances of the strikes point toward some of the reasons for the many resignations.

So why are so many people quitting the workplace?

Read more here

How will President Biden pay for his Build Back Better agenda?

The president is firm in his commitment that the average Joe and Jane in the US will not have to pay any extra tax for the large Democrat agenda.

The plan is to make America’s richest, along with big business, pay for the plan with increased taxes on the ultra wealthy.

Social Security

What happens if you don't work 35 years for Social Security?

To be able to claim retirement benefits in the US, it is first necessary to earn 40 'credits', which can be earned during a year of work. The maximum that can be earned in a year in four but even if you reach 40 fast it is usually a bad idea to retire immediately.

This is because there are multiple factors which affect how much you can claim in retirement Social Security payments. These are how much you have earned while earning these credits, your highest salary each year for 35 years, and the age at which you retire at.

Retiring too early could preclude you from earning more money in retirement, so it is usually best to hold off retirement as long as possible, at least until the full retirement age of 66-years old.

Read more here

What will happen with student debt?

Democrats are once again pressing President Biden to act on student loan forgiveness, stepping up the pressure on the White House to deal with the issue even as it struggles to bring a divided party together around the president’s agenda.

“Today would be a great day for President Biden and Vice President Harris to #CancelStudentDebt,” Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted on Thursday. Schumer regularly hits the White House on the issue on Twitter.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, similar tweeted on Thursday: “Student debt relief is good for people and good for the economy. @POTUS can and must lift the burden of student debt for 43 million Americans.”

Progressives want Biden to forgive up to $50,000 in federally held student debt per borrower. Doing so would wipe out all federal student debt for about 80 percent of the roughly 44 million Americans who collectively owe the federal government more than $1.5 trillion. The president had promised to eliminate student debt when he was running for president.

IRS sends out more warnings for Social Security phishing

The IRS website says: Unscrupulous individuals seek to obtain personal information for the purpose of tax-related identity theft. Whether through a telephone call, text message or email, the con artist tries to convince the recipient that they need to provide Social Security numbers, bank account or credit card information or passwords. The scam may also include sending links that once clicked on can download malicious software that collects, or "mines" personal data.

Often, criminals pose as someone the recipient knows or frequently interacts with, whether a social or family relationship or a business contact. They gather much of this information from social media. A person's contacts or 'friends' are used to bait the recipient into thinking they're dealing with someone they know.

More information on the IRS's "Dirty Dozen" list can be found on a special section of IRS.gov.

US NEWS

Will SSI get a fourth stimulus check?

The idea of a fourth stimulus check for every eligible American - like those issued throughout the covid 19 pandemic - appears to have disappeared, with President Biden focused instead on the American Rescue Plan and an enhanced Child Tax Credit. That said, there is a possibility that a more targeted payment could still be made to a certain group of American citizens, and they're pushing for that to happen.

Earlier this month, on 4 October, the Senior Citizens League, a non-profit organization, wrote a letter to Congress urging members to send a $1,400 stimulus check to those receiving Social Security benefits. The contents of the letter are extremely concerning, with the writers explaining in detail the lengths seniors have had to go to to make ends meet.

Read more

"The inability to put food on the table or to keep a roof over one's head, these are things that very badly impact children. So, a family that needs the money to be able to provide food and clothing and support for the family at large is improving conditions of life for children.

"And, of course, some of the money, much of it may be spent directly on children's needs. But, broadly speaking, helping families lead more secure lives is a tremendous benefit to the children in these households."

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Remarks on the Child Tax Credit

Child tax credit payments

Editor of The Atlantic, Juliet Lapidos, reveals she has been experiencing some "weirdness" with her CTC payments. The fourth of six monthly payments went out on Friday. "My child tax credit is a different amount every month. Sometimes it goes to me, sometimes to both me and my husband. Anyone else experiencing this weirdness?" she tweets.

Federal aid of up to $30k available for students

While the chances of a fourth federal stimulus check looks unlikely, there is s still a way for students and families to secure up to $30,000 in federal aid.

Current and prospective college students can now apply for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application for the 2021-22 school year. The FAFSA deadline for the 2021-22 school year is 11:59 p.m., Central Time, on June 30, 2022, with corrections or updates are due by the same time on September 10, 2022.

Students and families reportedly miss out on billions of dollars every year by not completing their applications in time.

"FAFSA is the gateway to $150 billion in aid to help pay for higher education, including scholarships, grants, work-study, and federal student loans,” Ashley Boucher, who recently served as director of corporate communications for Sallie Mae, told CNBC. “But some of that aid is limited, some of it is first-come, first-serve, and so families want to be among the first in line to apply for their fair share of aid and that means preparing for this October 1st application date.

US NEWS

Why are John Deere workers striking?

Dubbed 'striketober', the US is experiencing an unprecedented amount of labor action this month as workers fight back against poor conditions. See full story.

US NEWS

Fourth stimulus check: which states are making cash payments?

A few states including Texas and California have decided to send residents a stimulus check, as chances of a fourth federal payment dwindle even further. See full story.

Texas ruling on transgender students

A controversial development out of the Republican-controlled Texas House of Representatives, which has passed a bill that bans transgender students from playing on school sports teams based on their gender identities.

Stimulus scammers: watch out!

The Internal Revenue Service continues to warn taxpayers to be aware of scam artists targeting stimulus checks as well as the Child Tax Credit money being sent out by the federal government.

According to Darren Lian, the acting Special Agent in Charge with the IRS. Criminal Investigation office in Phoenix, scammers can lure in their victims by knowing the exact words to use.

“By phone, email, text or social media,” Lian said, “they are attracting taxpayers with keywords such as ‘covid disaster relief,’ or ‘I can get you faster payments,’ or ‘I can give you a prepayment of what you’re about to get.’ All of these tactics are trying to lure unwary taxpayers into a trap.”

Don't become their latest victim!

"Do better Democrats" - Jennifer Lawrence on Infra Bill

Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence has called on Democrats to "Do better" as West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin looks to cut the clean electricity measure from the infrastructure bill currently being considered in Congress.

"Senator Manchin is about to cut clean electricity from the infrastructure bill. The future of this planet should not be a political gambling chip. Do better democrats. The country is watching you Senator Manchin," tweeted Lawrence, a member of Represet.Us

Brookings Institue calls for expansion of CTC

Melissa S. Kearney of the Brookings institute has outlines "Six reasons why an expanded Child Tax Credit or child allowance should be part of the US safety net".

1. We should have social insurance against child poverty.

2. From the perspective of government spending as an investment, this would yield a positive social return.

3. Providing income assistance to children regardless of their parents’ work status would fill a hole in our current safety net.

4. A nearly universal child tax credit or allowance limits work disincentives.

5. There is a case to be made for additional cash benefits to supplement existing in-kind program benefits.

6. This is just not that expensive relative to the likely social benefits.

See the full article here (or click link in twitter post below)

Petition for $2k monthly stimulus checks surpasses 2.9m

A change.org petition is edging closes to its 3m signature target, having gathered more than 2.92m signatures to date, making it one of the most signed petitions on the platform's history.

"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," reads the petitions Mission Statement.

"These are all reasons that checks need to be targeted to people who are still struggling and that Congress needs to learn from this past year. It took nine months for Congress to send a second stimulus check, and just moments to spend it. Moving forward Congress needs to make recurring checks automatic if certain triggers are met. No more waiting around for our government to send the help we need."

You can sign the petition here.

Facebook posts claiming infra bill will impose 61% on deceased person's assets is false

Posts on Facebook claiming that infrastructure bill will include a provision taxing all individual assets at 61% after a person dies have been identified as false. As reported by fact-checking outlet Boom, "experts say the bill contains no such measure, and while President Joe Biden proposed an increase to taxes after death earlier this year, it only applied to the wealthy and is not included in the current legislation being considered".

Golden State Stimulus

What is the deadline to file taxes in California and receive a stimulus check?

The next round of Golden State stimulus checks will be sent out at the end of this month, with a total of around two-thirds of California taxpayers expected to have received a payment by the time the distribution is finished. 

You only need to have been a California resident for more than half of the 2020 tax year to qualify for the $600 payment, though you must still be a state resident on the date your payment is issued and you must have filed your tax return before the deadline to be eligible for a stimulus check. 

Read more

Social Security COLA boost will land in January

To reflect the soaring inflation that has characterised the US' economic recovery, the Social Security Adminstration (SSA) announce the largest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in nearly 40 years. From January onwards, all Social Security recipients will get a 5.9% increase in their payment from the SSA. 

DNC chair gives support for CTC extension

When it was passed back in March the American Rescue Plan introduced a number of relief programmes, such as a third stimulus check and expanded Child Tax Credit. However the new CTC programme was only funded for a single year, and the monthly payment aspect is set to end in December unless Congress can agree an extension. 

Stimulus check live blog: welcome

Hello and a very warm welcome to today's dedicated fourth stimulus check live feed, bringing you all the latest updates from Washington.

President Biden is embarking on a crucial period in his presidency, looking to pass the remaining pillars of his ambitious Build Back Better legislative agenda. 

We'll have the latest on the Child Tax Credit extension and Social Security benefits payments, as well as the COLA 2022 adjustments.

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