Fourth stimulus check news summary: 19 October 2021

AS USA

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

Headlines

- Lawmakers returned to Washington on Monday to work on Build Back Better legislation

- Next legislative deadline 31 October 2021 to pass infrastructure bill

- 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:

The deal with Senator Manchin's conflict of interest when it comes to climate

Biden expected to cut tuition-free college out of agenda say CNN

Biden has reportedly told progressives about the plan in reaction to threats from senators Sinema and Manchin that they will not support the full $3.5 trillion Build Back Better agenda.

The Child Tax Credit is also expected to only be extended for one year, which would represent a major defeat for Biden and his agenda before the midterm elections next year. It would also prevent the 40 percent reduction in child poverty.

Social Security

What is the income limit for Medicaid?

The Affordable Care Act in 2010 allowed states to expand Medicaid to cover more lower income Americans than previously. It also established a new series of eligibility criteria based upon Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI), which was intended to make it easier to consolidate who was eligible by utilizing the same criteria for all support.

The Affordable Care Act allocated funding for states to expand coverage to “nonelderly adults with income up to 133% of the federal poverty level.”

The pandemic has also caused a rapid increase in enrollment, as millions lost employer-funded health insurance when they lost their job. The federal government reported a 10.2 percent increase between February and September 2020, taking the number of people claiming the support to its highest level in history.

So knowing the minimum income is as important as ever.

Read more here

Democrat JEC attacks Manchin plans

The Democrat Joint Economic Committee, a group that advises senior Democrats, has republished their assessment of the benefits of the Child Tax Credit. This is in response to rumors that Dems are willing to accept limits on who can receive the CTC if it is extended to 2025.

Data from the US Census Bureau shows family finances improved significantly after the first round of monthly payments in July. The share of households reporting food insufficiency and financial hardship dropped dramatically.

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

Manchin holds all the cards and dictates his demands for CTC

Axios reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter, that Manchin has told the president that the Child Tax Credit must have an "established work" requirement and a family income limit in the $60,000 range if Democrats want his vote for the package.

Those demands, Axios noted, would significantly weaken the Child Tax Credit, which is one of President Biden’s key programs to assist working families. It would also bring down the price tag of the spending bill, which Manchin and fellow moderate Senator Kyrsten Sinema have both said is too high.

Progressives, however, are unlikely to get on board with the scaled-back version of the child tax credit, according to Axios. 

Dems prepared to sacrifice aspects of bills to get Build Back Better agenda over the line

Press Sec. Jen Psaki seemed to admit that the Dems will accept aspects of their bills to be taken out, if it means Joe Manchin and Kristen Sinema will support them. The moderate duo are blocking all attempts to get the bills over the line by pushing headstrogn with what they beleive should be in them.

SOCIAL SECURITY

What number do Social Security numbers not start with?

Prior to the 2011 methodology change for how the Social Security Administration issued nine-digit Social Security Numbers, the agency used a system to aid in the pre-computer-age records filing. The first three digits indicated the geographical area of an applicant’s mailing address with the remaining six divided into two groups to collate workers’ records.

However, as the nation grew, and ever greater numbers settled in once sparsely populated areas when the program was created, the Social Security Administration’s allocation of numbers for regions ran into a crunch. Killing two birds with one stone, the agency implemented a randomization numbering scheme but there were some number combinations that were avoided.

Read more

Child Tax Credit work requirement hurts no traditional families

Across the US 6.2 million children live with their grandparents as of 2019, and 1.1 million of those had no parents in the household. These children would be denied under a work requirement to claim the Child Tax Credit, as retirement benefits are not considered earned income.

Child Tax Credit work requirement flops with Democrats

The American Rescue Plan enhanced the Child Tax Credit in several ways. One of which was making the credit completely refundable and another dropping the earned income floor of $2,500 to even begin to claim the credit. Above that level the amount a taxpayer could receive gradually increased until reaching the full $2,000, of which $1,400 was refundable.

Senator Joe Manchin wants to add a work requirement that would deny many families the benefits that the tax provision is already providing. It would also create a hurdle for families that have the most trouble navigating government bureaucracy.

Vaccine mandate could cost unvaxxed Chicago police officers retirement benefits

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot aanounced a vaccine mandate for all city employees including police officers in August setting the deadline for 15 October. However, as many as 50 percent of the city's rank-and-file officers may be about to face disciplanary action which could include losing retirement benefits if they chose to retire while under disciplanary investigation. 

Meetings at White House to resolve Dems' spending bill logjam get underway

President Biden is scheduled to meet the varying factions of the Democratic party separately to smooth over differences holding up the Build Back Better bill. 

SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

How have Social Security benefits in 2022 changed with respect previous years?

Social Security recipients will see the largest increase to their benefits in 40 years after the Administration announced a higher-than-normal cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2022. The 5.9 percent COLA 2022 was slightly larger than the increase announced in 2008 when benefits got a 5.8 percent bump.

This process of bringing benefits in line with rising wages and cost of consumer goods was designed to protect workers’ benefits and the Trust Funds to which they contribute.

Over the years Congress has stepped in to adjust the amount that Social Security pays out. The current system of adjusting benefits began in 1975 but has been tweaked since.

Read more

Manchin's stance on Child Tax Credit bad for his home state

Senator Joe Manchin has made his vote for President Biden's Build Back Better plan being hashed out by Democrats in Congress contingent on removing measures to combat climate change and put restricitions on providing American families with financial stability through the enhanced Child Tax Credit.

Paul Krugman writes that he is going against his own state's interests where climate change with its ever more extreme weather events could bring disasterous flooding to his state. Furthermore his demand that an extension of the Child Tax Credit include a work requirement is a bad idea for a state where jobs are hard to come by. 

West Virginia would benefit more from the cash inflows residents would receive compared to their fellow Americans in wealthier portions of the US.

Social Security

How are Social Security credits calculated?

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 is four but even if you reach 40 fast it is usually a bad idea to retire immediately.

In 2021, you receive one credit for each $1,470 of earnings. These credits count toward all Social Security payments, including Medicare. Benefits can be claimed without work, but will lead to a lower retirement fund compared to someone who has worked for most of their life.

Read more here

US NEWS

Can a married couple collect two Social Security checks?

This week the Social Security Administration recently released the 2022 Cost-of-living-adjustment, or COLA as it is more commonly known. The news has raised many questions about Social Security benefits, including how married couples receive their checks.

Both partners in a marriage who worked enough to claim benefits, are able to receive two checks.

Spousal benefits are a bit more complicated

Don Winslow takes on Joe Manchin's conflict of interests

Senator Joe Manchin is one of two Democrats in the Senate that want to reduce the price tag of legislation that would fulfil President Biden's vision for rebuilding the US more equitably and more environmentally friendly.

Manchin has called for means testing and a work requirement in order to extend the Child Tax Credit changes, including the advance payment scheme which would limit it to families earning $60,000 per year.

Another part of the Build Back Better bill would help accelerate the US' transition to clean energy making the US electric grid carbon-free by 2035. Manchin says that theseinvestments are not needed that the industry is moving in that direction already. Don Winslow takes issue with the Senator's desire to strip the climate change fighting proposals from the bill given Manchin's, and his family's ties to the coal industry.

Biden ramping up pressure to get spending bill passed

President Biden and Democrats are running out of time to pass the Build Back Better plan the White House has laid out. Biden will be meeting this week with both progressive and moderate lawmakers from his party.

On Tuesday afternoon he will hold two seperate meetings, one with the Progressive Caucus and another with the New Democrat Coalition. He spoke yesterday with the progressives' caucus chair Pramila Jayapal and with Senator Joe Manchin, one of two in the upper chamber refusing to support the bill as is with the current price tag. Democrats need all 50 votes that they can muster in the Senate if they are going to pass the spending bill.

Is your Child Tax Credit payment smaller? Blame September glitch

The IRS encountered a glitch when sending out the September installment of the Child Tax Credit that resulted in about two percent of payments being delayed. This was primarily due to enrollees changing their bank account information and in particular married couples where just one spouse changed their account details.

The tax authority has fixed the glitch but a knock on effect is that some of those affected received too much money in September. To remedy the situation the last three installments this year will be reduced by between $10 and $13 on average.

False Facebook post claims infrastructure bill has "Death Tax" provision

Democrats are looking for ways to finance their go-it-alone spending measure, primarily by increasing taxes on the largest corporation and the ultra-wealthy. The idea of taxing wealth and gains on assets the same as ordinary income gained through work has been floated. 

A recent post on Facebook claims that the Build Back Better bill taking shape in Congress includes a so-called "Death Tax" provision that would take up to 61 percent of a person's wealth upon death. Matt Gregory debunks the bit of scaremongering speaking to experts and looking at the proposals in both infrastructure bills.

Democrats running out of time to move Build Back Better forward

Democrats have a tough needle to thread and little time to do it. They have one part of President Biden's agenda, a bipartisan infrastructure bill, awaiting a vote in the House. That won't happen if there isn't a vote on the remaining proposals of the Build Back Better legislation still being negotiated in Congress.

Democrats need to pass the infrastructure bill by 31 October before  temporary funding for the Highway Fund runs out. Passing that bill could give the party a bump among independent voters who are becoming increasingly fed up with the current inaction.

Biden

Biden to meet with Dem progressive and moderates to discuss infra bill

Today, President Joe Biden will meet separately with both House progressives and House/Senate moderates to find a way to bridge differences in order to pass his infrastructure agenda, according to Washington correspondent, Kellie Meyer.

Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

David Sirota calls out Manchin hyprocrisy over child tax credit work requirements

Journalist David Sirota has called out Joe Manchin for wanting work requirements for poor families who get the child tax credit, claiming that the West Virginia senator "pushed for special tax breaks for billionaires' heirs even if those scions are not working & refuse to get a job."

"Coal millionaire Joe Manchin lives on a yacht, and is benefiting from special tax breaks that reward him for doing no work - and he's pushing to impose work requirements on families struggling to survive on the child tax credit," added Sirota in another tweet.

Moderate house Democrats come out against Manchin plans for CTC

Suzan DelBene, head of the moderate Democrats in the house, has said that putting limits on the Child Tax Credit would "hurt middle-class families". These comments come as her moderate colleague in the senate Joe Manchin has said he will only accept an extension of the credit if limits are brought in, such as work requirements.

The West Virginia senator is trying to put limits on who can receive the Child Tax Credit if it is extended to 2025.

An effective tax?

More Perfect Union, an organization set up to tell working-class stories in the US, has had their say on plans to put a threshold on Child Tax Credit payments as proposed by Joe Manchin.

The West Virginia senator has made it his mission to cut back on much of the Democrat agenda in the reconciliation bill, the passing of which has been fraught with trouble in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Dinwall: "We have to pass the presidents agenda."

Both the Build Back Better and infrastructure bills are currently held up in Congress.

GOLDEN STATE STIMULUS

When is California sending the next fourth Golden State stimulus payment in October?

The California Franchise Tax Board says the next batch of Golden State stimulus payment will enter bank accounts on Halloween.

Find out more

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Why could the IRS ask for stimulus money back?

Millions of Americans are receiving letters from the IRS informing them that they may need to pay back some of the stimulus money they received.

Here’s why…

Stimulus Checks

How much were the first, second and third stimulus checks and when were they sent out?

Three federal stimulus checks have been sent out so far by the US federal government since the covid-19 pandemic began in early 2020.

We take a look at each of the direct payments

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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