Fourth stimulus check: summary

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Fourth stimulus check live updates: California stimulus, Social Security 2022, Medicare, Child Tax Credit...

US stimulus checks: live updates

Headlines

- House expected to vote on both bipartisan infrastructure and Build Back Better bills on Friday

- The SSI amount for 2022 has been released, giving recipients up to $1,261 a month

- Democrats include an extension to the SALT deduction: What is it and why are so many on the left and right against it?

- Bipartisan infrastructure bill:What did the final bill include?

- New reconciliation bill likely to fall short of progressives' Medicare expansion hopes

- More than 4.5m Californians have received their Golden State stimulus checks

- Will Social Security recipients receive a fourth stimulus check?

Increased calls for fourth stimulus check as inflation sees prices rise

Useful information & Links

Child Tax Credit

- Next round of Child Tax Credit payments will go out on 15 November

Stimulus checks

- Fourth stimulus check: the situation in every US state

- Petition calling for $2,000 recurring checks nears 3m signatures

- A look back at the state of the economy when Congress passed the first three stimulus checks

Medicare

- Open enrollment continues through 7 December

- What are the differences between Medigap and Medicare Advantage: the lowdown

- Seniors should be aware that opting out of Medicare at 65 can come with a serious cost.

Social Security

- Social Securitypayment schedule for 2021

- Calculating your Social Security benefits

- The Social Security COLA increase will go into effect on 30 December 2021.

IRS warn against online imposters

The Internal Revenue Service, once again warns customers about online imposters posing as others via social media networks with the sole motive of securing confidential banking and personal information.

House has Build Back Better bill ready for a vote Friday

After months of negotiations Democrats finally have a bill containing expansions of the social safety net and measures to combate climate change ready to be voted on in the House. The Build Back Better bill is expected to get a vote on Friday at the same time the House will finally vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill that has been held up as leverage to pass the former.

If the bipartisan bill passes, it can head to President Biden's desk to be signed into law. The Build Back Better bill, if it passes will go to the Senate where lawmakers in the upper chamber will have a go making changes to the legislation before it gets a vote. Should they make changes, which are expected, once it passes the Senate it will return to the House for a final vote. 

Should both pass it would see a good portion of President Biden's vision enacted.

SOCIAL SECURITY

What is the maximum Social Security tax in 2021? Is there a Social Security tax cap?

Contributions to the Social Security are paid through payroll taxes by employers and employees based on net earnings up to a limit adjusted annually.

Full details

Through the extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit, the Build Back Better Framework will provide more than 35M families with much needed relief to help cover the cost of food, housing, and health care and will continue the largest 1-year reduction in child poverty in history.

Doug Emhoff, Second Gentleman

SALT revision in Build Back Better bill

Some Democrats want to undo changes to the state and local tax (SALT) deductions put in place with the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act. GOP lawmakers capped the deduction at $10,000 which hurt taxpayers in high tax states, generally Democratic leaning.

House Democrats made changes to the Build Back Better legislation on Thursday to add a provision to raise the cap to $80,000. Not all Democrats agree, Senators Bernie Sanders and Bob Menendez have suggested keeping the cap but creating an exemption for households with incomes under specific level to avoid creating a massive tax break for the wealthy.

Rep. Pascrell calls for Social Security assurances

Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey was a tireless campaigner for stimulus checks and has repeatedly called on the federal government to do more to support vulnerable Americans during the pandemic. In a letter addressed to the Social Security Administration, Pascrell wants to ensure that there will be no delays to Social Security payments over the winter months. 

How would a Child Tax Credit extension help families?

SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

What days and time do Social Security checks get deposited?

Social Security payments are a vital form of federal support for more than 65 million Americans, offering regular payments for retirees, disabled workers and other groups. The Social Security Administration has also confirmed that a huge 5.9% payment increase is coming for recipients next year, but not everyone know when and how the money is distributed...

Read more

VP Harris pushes for Child Tax Credit extension

The Biden Administration is pushing to find agreement on his reconciliation package proposals and secure a much-needed extension to the Child Tax Credit programme. Here, Vice President Kamala Harris is outlining the number of families who stand to benefit if the monthly payments are allowed to continue. 

Numerous studies have shown that the reformed Child Tax Credit can have a dramatic impact on childhood poverty and researchers from Columbia University estimate that an extension could cut child poverty by 45%.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Fourth Stimulus Check Update: what's the situation in every state?

The White House appears confident that a deal can be found to secure the remainder of President Biden’s huge Build Back Better agenda, a key domestic priority for the president. He has met with lawmakers in an attempt to find a compromise to satisfy his disparate caucus, and to secure the passage of a two-bill, multi-trillion-dollar social safety net and infrastructure package.

The issue of the Child Tax Credit, Medicare expansion and infrastructure spending have all been key, but there has been little talk of a fourth stimulus check. However, many states are offering their own direct payments to help support residents. 

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WH wants Medicare to negotiate drug prices

As President Biden's Build Back Better legislation edges closer to realisation, the White House Twitter account is outling the benefits of the huge spending proposals. One key change will be to Medicare, which will be allowed to negotiate prices of expensive pharmaceuticals to reduce the burden on taxpayers.

Rep. Larson proposes Social Security boost

“No one fights for the working families of this country like the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which is why I am honored to have their support of this important legislation to protect and expand Social Security."

“Americans are facing a retirement crisis, and we must expand Social Security to solve this problem. Social Security is the most effective anti-poverty program, keeping millions of Americans afloat.  This legislation takes commonsense steps to keep Social Security strong for generations to come while improving the vital benefits that Americans have earned through years of hard work. We must make sure no American who has worked hard all their life retires into poverty, and the Social Security 2100 Act provides the fix we need.”

Rep. John B. Larson, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairman

SOCIAL SECURITY

How much will SSI pay in 2022 per month and per year?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a need-based federal aid program designed to help some groups cover basic expenses for food and shelter. SSI is means-tested, which means that there are no contribution or labor requirements and it is distributed on the basis of need.

We take a look at how much the programme will be worth for recipients next year...

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Is Social Security fit for purpose?

Sarah Levy, CEO of Betterment, speaks to Bloomberg about the role that Social Security will play in the lives of Americans in years to come. The decades-old safety net is currently struggling to remain viable and porjections suggest that by 2034 it may be unable to cover its costs. A new house bill entitled Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust would look to provide extra funding to postpone that deadline. 

Stimulus Check

Will a new stimulus check happen in November 2021?

It appears that the Democrats are close to reaching an agreement on a framework for President Biden’s Build Back Better legislative package. After months of intra-party negotiations, the sweeping $3.5 trillion spending package has been cut in half with many proposals whittled down or axed all together.

Will there be a fourth round of stimulus checks included? An extension to the hugely popular Child Tax Credit payments? We take a look...

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How is the Child Tax Credit helping families?

As the Democrats in Congress inch towards an agreement on the reconciliation package, many groups are pushing the benefits of the programmes included in the legislation. The Child Tax Credit has been a particularly emotive topic, but one that has proved difficult to find agreement on from moderate senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. 

Stimulus Checks

From which date is the US Federal Reserve stopping stimulus check payments?

As there are no plans for a fourth stimulus check, there has been no announcement on it ending. There has already been three stimulus checks, but they have been independent of the Federal Reserve. What the bank has done is prop up mortgages and businesses by pumping hundreds of billions of dollars in to the economy each month since the pandemic started.

However, the Fed has said they are beginning to taper off payments directly into the US economy, reducing the funding by $15 billion a month. On Wednesday that they would begin cutting that stimulus by $15bn a month but left interest rates unchanged.

Read more here

IRS warning from Child Tax Credit scams

With the next payment of the CTC just over a week away, the IRS has been consistently warning recipients about people trying to defraud them out of their checks.

On their website they say don't provide any personal information in response to advertisements, especially any individual or company asking for the following information:

- Social Security, bank account, debit and credit card numbers or other financial information

- Home address, work address, or telephone number(s)

- Any tax return related information

The IRS will never ask for you to pay by cash, gift card, credit card, wire transfer through companies like Money Gram or Western Union, or cryptocurrency to get help with making sure you get the necessary information to receive this payment.

SOCIAL SECURITY

How are Social Security benefits calculated and on how many years of work are they based?

In June 2021 more than 65 million Americans were in receipt of Social Security benefit payments, either due to qualifying as a retired worker, a disabled worker, or a survivor.

More than $1 trillion is expected to be sent out by the Social Security Administration (SSA) over the course of the year and the amount each recipient gets is a highly-personalised calculation.

In 2021 the average monthly retirement benefits is $1,543, but these payments can be as high as $3,148 for someone who filed recently at full retirement age. Here’s how to work out your Social Security entitlement…

Read more here

What is to blame for Democrat election troubles?

The fallout from the Democrat election defeat in Virginia, along with their narrow victory in New Jersey, has been swift. Both moderates and progressives blame each other.

The left argue that in order to both inspire the party base and win over swing voters like suburban women, Democrats need to pass bold policies such as paid parental leave, prescription drug reform and Medicare expansion. And they point out that neither Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe, nor President Joe Biden, come from their camp.

Moderates say that progressives should have helped pass the bills in Congress. This is despite the breaking of agreements made for progressives, who say they will stand by what was previously agreed, and nothing else.

Return of family leave as Dems target manchin

House Democrats on Wednesday resurrected a long-sought paid family leave proposal as part of their social spending package in defiance of Senator Joe Manchin.  

Manchin, whose vote is essential for passage of the bill in the evenly divided Senate, doubled down on his opposition and insisted the social spending package is the “wrong place” for the paid leave proposal. 

But the push from House Democrats to revive paid leave is a signal that they are willing to put up a bigger fight over it, even while they’re desperately trying to nail down a deal as fast as possible.

Stimulus Checks

Which billionaires got stimulus checks during the pandemic? Who and how much?

A report from outlet ProPublica, contends that 270 of America's super wealthy received federal stimulus checks in 2020, despite the checks being only for Americans earning under a certain threshold.

These 270 people, including at least 18 billionaires, made around $5.7 billion in income in 2020. What this fiasco shows is the ill-equipped facilities of the IRS, while also representing how billionaires manage to cheat the tax system, using various breaks and strategies to have a negative income on their tax forms, despite owning billions of dollars.

Read more here

WATCH: Biden defends failure to pass bills in Congress

Billionaires among those who received stimulus checks

First reported by ProPublica, an organization that investigates abuses of power, found more than 250 of America's ultra-wealthy received the stimulus checks at the beginning of the pandemic, despite there being a limit on who could receive them.

ProPublica, using IRS records, identified at least 18 billionaires who received stimulus payments, which were funded by US taxpayers, in the spring of 2020. 270 taxpayers who collectively disclosed $5.7 billion in income, according to their previous tax return, but who were able to deploy deductions at such a massive scale that they qualified for stimulus checks. All listed negative net incomes on tax returns.

SOCIAL SECURITY

How much will SSI pay in 2022 per month and per year?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a need-based federal aid program designed to help some groups cover basic expenses for food and shelter. Unlike Social Security which is an entitlement program that workers pay into,  SSI does not have these requirements. SSI is means-tested, which means that there are no contribution or labor requirements and it is distributed on the basis of need.

The program which was established in 1974 has two eligibility thresholds. The first is that a person must be sixty-five and older, AND/OR disabled, AND/OR blind. The individual must also have an income under a certain level, be a citizen or legal immigrant, and remain in the United States. In most cases, an individual cannot have assets worth more than $2,000, excluding their home and car. For couples, the asset limit stands at around $3,000.

 SSI payments will be paid on the first day of each month in 2022.

Read more here

What do the proposed tax cuts mean in real terms?

President Biden has lauded his plans as reducing tax for Americans while also being fully-costed. This is supposed to be achieved by increasing taxes on Americans who earn more than $400,000 a year.

One of the ways to cut taxes is increasing the SALT deduction cap, SALT being State and Local Taxes. The cap would be increased from $10,000 to $72,500 for five years (including retroactive to 2021) and then extend that cap through 2031. The cost of this would be massive, losing the government roughly $300 billion through 2025.

This costs more than nearly every aspect of the president's spending plan, but also doesn't provide that much of a tax break to hte middle class the president is trying so hard to woo. Analysis shows that only 2.5 percent of the benefit of this SALT cap increase would go to those making less than $100,000 pear year. While those in the middle of the income spectrum would receive an average tax cut of roughly $20 per year, the highest earners would enjoy over $23,000 per year in tax cuts.

Manchin calls for passing of infrastructure bill to stave off further defeat

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin repeated his calls to pass the infrastructure bill without the reconciliation bill in response to the Dems taking a pummeling in two gubernatorial elections. While co-negotiating the former, Manchin's obstinacy in terms of driving the cost down of the latter has been met with ire by the progressive wing of his party.

“You can read so much into all of that [election]. I think it should be a call to all of us have to be more attentive to the people back home,” said Manchin, who also noted the governor’s race in New Jersey, a solidly Democratic state, was still too close to call as of early Wednesday.

US NEWS

Does the infrastructure bill include more money for Social Security or unemployment benefits?

Reports suggest that the White House is increasingly confident of holding a vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill before the end of the week, after progressive lawmakers signalled that they would back the slimmed-down proposal.

President Biden was hoping to pass a huge infrastructure package which could reshape American society, but has been forced to compromise to appease moderates in his party.

What measures are still in the bill?

House could vote on Infrastructure and social spending bills before end of week

Democrats have been negotiating for months over the size and scope of legislation to bring to fruition President Biden's agenda through the Build Back Better plan. To gain some bipartisan support instead of one sweeping bill to include proposals for both the infrastructure and social safety-net aspects, it was split into two.

One kept the roads and bridges infrastrucutre portions that GOP lawmakers could agree to while the remaining infrastrucutre to combate climate change was added to the social safety-net spending. However, the plan was to pass both at the same time to keep pressure on hesitant lawmakers that were only fully comfortable with the "hard" infrastructure bits.

It appears that the long journey to something everyone can agree on may be coming to an end. Reuters reports that Representative Rick Larsen said that a vote on both bills could come as soon as Friday at noon after coming out of a caucus meeting.

The challenges American families and workers are facing today are enormous, and President Biden's agenda is the remedy to much of their hardships.

Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader

US NEWS

 Is the government mortgage stimulus relief program real?

On Monday, after weeks of negotiations between the White House and conservative Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, a deal was announced.

Many in the US are struggling to make mortgage payments on time and looking to Congress for help. 

Does the reconciliation bill provide real relief?

US NEWS

Will Social Security beneficiaries get a fourth stimulus check?

Despite knowing that at this time it is a long shot, the Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a non-partisan advocacy group, has started a pressure campaign to push Congress to send those receiving Social Security additional stimulus money. In a letter to leaders of Congress TSCL Chairman Rick Delaney called for a one-off $1,400 Social Security stimulus payment for seniors.

The proposal came after the group heard from seniors telling of the hardships that they face from the highest inflation in decades in the aftermath of the covid-19 pandemic. Many have expressed a feeling of abandonment from the government telling TSCL “our government has forgotten about us.”

Read more here

Welcome to our fourth stimulus check live feed

Hello and good morning! I'm Oli and throughout the day AS USA will be bringing you all the latest updates from Washington as the White House looks to find agreement on President Biden's huge reconciliation package proposals. 

We'll bring you news on the Child Tax Credit, Social Security increase, Medicare expansion and what hopes of a fourth stimulus check in the near future...

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