Pandemic Relief Update 2022: What is the the situation in each state?
During the first year of the pandemic the federal government passed three rounds of stimulus checks. States also offer their own forms of support.
Covid-19 case numbers have reached new daily records in recent weeks there have been growing calls for further economic support for American people and businesses, but it is highly unlikely the government will provide more stimulus checks to the general public. Pressure has risen on on Americans as one form of federal financial support, the Child Tax Credit, has been removed.
However, there are other types of support that the government has been providing and is providing to those in need. Some states have also introduced extra pandemic-related support that state residents can access.
Which states offer their own stimulus checks or other types of financial relief?
The standout state is California, which has the only real form of stimulus checks remaining, and these are just the last payments of a plan set up last year.
Others, like Alaska, have state-run dividend packages that are sent to residents each year. These cannot be classed as relief checks as they have existed for over 50 years, and are a form of payment to residents that have decided to live in Alaska permanently.
The most generous state-sponsored relief initiative came in California, but the final payment was sent out as late as January 11th.
States introduce stimulus check alternatives
Although not quite a proper stimulus check, numerous states have introduced new forms of financial support for residents. Many of these are specificially related to the pandemic and offer cash incentives.
On the back of an additional round of $1,000 stimulus checks for around 170,000 teachers and principals during 2021, as a ‘thank you’ for their work throughout the pandemic, Florida's 2022 budget includes a $1,000 bonus for teaching staff.
Indiana's residents will receive a state-funded tax refund worth an estimated $125 each, when they file their 2021 tax returns after the state recorded a budgetary surplus on the previous fiscal year. January 24 marks the first day in which US residents can begin to file their taxes.
Undocumented workers in New York can access a $2.1 billion stimulus check fund, allowing those unable to claim the initial two stimulus checks to receive some support. You must simply be a state resident who earned less than $26,000 in 2020, and have missed out on the previous stimulus checks.
Another funding plan includes investment in tourism workers who have had their earnings annihilated by the lack of tourism. This includes funding for startups, as well as investment in tourism-related jobs, according to tweets by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
Earlier this year the Tennessee state legislature passed SB1358, which provided a “one-time hazard pay bonus of $1,000 for full-time employees and $500 for part-time employees” of the state's public schools. These should have been received by the end of the year, but like problems the IRS is facing, payments could still be received now.
Texas relief update
Another state focusing on educators for the additional stimulus checks is Texas, where individual school districts introduced various bonus schemes to encourage teachers back to the classroom. Fort Worth and Arlington have increased the pay of district employees by 4%; Denton has provided a bonus payment of $500; while the Irving school district has promised a $2,000 stimulus payment for teachers who returned to the classroom in September.