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Financial aid: IRS Social Security recipients, Child Tax Credit, IRS Tax Refund deposit date | 11 February

Update:
FILE PHOTO: station shows in San Diego, California.

Headlines

- Consumer Price Index increased 0.6 percent in January.

- Initial unemployment claims decrease by 16,000 to 223,000 for the week ending on 5 February.

- VP Kamala Harris makes public comments supporting the Child Tax Credit

- Stock in Meta, the company that owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp has lost thirty-five percent of its value of the last six months.

- Some states report budget shortfalls leaving them unable to provide relief to residents

- Why won't Congress sent a fourth stimulus check?

- All you need to know about the $8000 Child and Dependent Care Credit.

- Which states are offering pandemic support to residents.

- How much did inflation increase in 2021?

Helpful news and links

Medicare and Social Security

- Humana and United Healthcare are the largest providers of Medicare Advantage Plans: What other companies offer plans?

- Social Security VS Supplemental Security Income: What are the differences?

- Can Medicaremembers get access to free at-home covid-19 tests.

- The color of your car could impact your car insurance premium.

SNAP and WIC

- Does Amazon accept WIC?

- Do any meal delivery kitsaccept SNAP?

Read more from AS USA

US NEWS

Do both public and private universities offer financial aid?

Higher education can be prohibitively expensive for some, with the average cost of a single year of college now in excess of $35,000. Fortunately there are various support schemes in place to help reduce the financial burden for students and their families. But the amount of support on offer and the terms connected to it can vary greatly, depending on whether you go to a public or private college. Here's everything you need to know...

Read more

Families are struggling without the Child Tax Credit

Throughout the last few months numerous studies outlined the positive impact that the advanced Child Tax Credit payments were having for the families who benefited from them. The IRS sent out monthly direct payments worth up to $300 per child from July - December 2021 but the boosted programme expired thereafter because Congress was unable to agree to an expansion. 

Social justice group Women's March outlines the negative effect that the failure to extend the programme has had on low-income American families. 

US NEWS

What is the difference between social security and supplemental security income?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) covers a variety of different initiatives aimed and two of the most common are Social Security and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both offer direct monthly payments for recipients but have very different purposes and eligibility requirements. Here's everything you need to know to see if you are entitled to a payment...

Read more

Lawmakers continue to push for Child Tax Credit expansion

The expanded Child Tax Credit programme expired in December after Congress failed to secure an extension. President Biden failed to push through the Build Back Bettter bill through the Senate, despite holding a slender majority in the Upper House. However some lawmakers, such as Sen. Reverend Raphael Warnock of Georgia, continue to push for a return to the monthly direct payments that were distributed in the second half of 2021. 

US NEWS

Does Medicaid cover braces?

Braces can cost thousands but many states do cover the cost for children and adults under twenty-one who are receive their health insurance through Medicaid or CHIP. In general terms it meas that Medicaid will not pay for braces for members who wish to get them to correct cosmetic issues. Some medical conditions that would allow for braces, in some cases, include excessive overjet, a cleft palate, or overbites and cross bites.

Read more.

20 million workers quit their jobs during the second half of 2020

60 Minutes Lesley Stall took a look at one of the most intriguing phenomenan  in the US labor market: The Great Resignation. With businesses eager to attract workers, many are flocking to new jobs in serach of higher pay and greater benefits. With so many jobs open, companies have had to work harder to hire on and retain new workers.

Consumer Prices are up 7.5 percent over the last twelve months, the greatest increase in prices seen since 1982. The report released by the BLS yesterday was projected to show improvements in regard to inflation and expectations were clearly not met. On average the Federal Reserves hopes to see inflation around two percent a year --a far cry from what we are seeing in the market.

White House responds to 0.6 percent Consumer Price Index increase seen in January

While today’s report is elevated, forecasters continue to project inflation easing substantially by the end of 2022. And fortunately we saw positive real wage growth last month, and moderation in auto prices, which have made up about a quarter of headline inflation over the last year. We separately saw good news with new unemployment claims continuing to decline. That’s a sign of the real progress we’ve made in getting Americans back to work over the last year.

Joseph Biden, US President

Social Security

Can you laminate your Social Security card?

They are massively important to everyone who has one, but they are extremely flimsy and easy to break. They are Social Security cards, and it feels like a light breeze would tear them apart.

It makes sense to secure them properly, right? Something along the lines of laminating should do the trick, surely.

Well, actually, no. That would be a bad idea.

Read more

WATCH: New Democrat drive for electric car access

Singer Cardi B comments upon US inflation

I was looking last year or two years ago and the market is just extremely high, and that’s just, let’s say, when it comes to homes. Everything is high. The food is high, the products are high. We can’t even get products from, you know, certain countries.

Cardi B, triple platinum singer

US NEWS

What financial aid options are available for parents in 2022?

One month into 2022 and the economic news is already bleak. High inflation is driving up prices for everyone, and wage growth is not rising to meet it.

While elements of government support like stimulus checks are a thing of the past, there remains a few elements of Social Security that parents can access for them and their children. None of the plans are new for this year, but most include a substantial increase in funding for families for 2022.

Read more

Interest rate rise close to inevitable

The Fed sees its top priority as taming inflation. These strong price data raise the prospect of the Fed starting its tightening cycle with a 50bps [basis points] rate hike at its March policy meeting, followed by consecutive rate hikes at the subsequent meetings,.

Oxford Economics , note to investors

Inflation not yet at peak

Stocks were slipping on Thursday, with investors under pressure from uncertainty over how soon and by how much the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.

The worry is that higher rates could dent economic demand and corporate earnings growth, which would, in turn, weigh on the stock market. Of course, the stock market is not a perfect representation of the economy, and those not invested are already seeing a significant squeeze on their earnings.

US NEWS

What was the inflation rate in 2021? What has the inflation rate been in the last 10 years?

In one year alone, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January 2021 to 2022 jumped by 7.5 percent, the largest yearly increase since 1982.

It is one of, if not the, largest problem facing embattled President Joe Biden. He has yet to pass his signature Build Back Better bill, a component of the bill being measures to tackle the high inflation. With crucial elections this year which look likely to strip him of majorities in Congress, inflation needs to be tackled as soon as possible, or face the wrath of voters.

Read more

Highest inflation since 1982

Inflation in the US climbed to its highest level in 40 years in January, with prices rising by 7.5% from a year ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier today.

It has been driven higher by soaring demand and a lack of supply caused by covid-19’s global impact on trade.

How can I increase my tax refund?

We are more than three weeks into tax season 2022 and the IRS is advising that filers get their tax returns in as quickly as possible to reduce the wait for tax refunds. The agency is working through a significant backlog of unprocessed returns from previous years which could slow down your payment. 

If you've not yet filed your tax return for 2021, check out this handy guide from HowStuffWorks to ensure that you have taken advantage of any tax credits and other schemes that you are entitled to, maximising your tax refund total. 

2022 TAX SEASON

$8000 Child and Dependent Care Credit: Am I eligible? How do I apply?

Americans who care for children or those who are unable to care for themselves could be eligible for a hefty tax cut when they file their tax returns this year.

The Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCC) has been nearly quadrupled allowing taxpayers to write off a portion of up to $8,000 for one child or dependent and $16,000 for two or more of those expenses. Taxpayers can now claim up to 50 percent of those expenses in the credit up to a certain eligibility income threshold. Additionally, only for 2021, some who have no income but “work” will now be eligible.

Read more

Renewed calls for a Child Tax Credit extension

Earlier this week Vice President Kamala Harris held a press conference at the White House, pushing the benefits of the Child Tax Credit. The public appearance was designed to kick-start a period of campaigning for the child benefit programme but Congress is yet to make any significant movements towards reinstating the monthly direct payments that were introduced from July 2021. 

Schumer has confidence in bipartisan progress in Congress

Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Shumer has reiterated his hope that the Democrats will be able to pursue large parts of President Biden's legislative agenda with bipartisan support in the Senate. Before Christmas hopes of passing the Build Back Better bill were dashed as Biden failed to persuade a single Republican in the Senate to vote for his proposals. It remains to be seen if this new-found bipartisan sentiment will extend to some of the more ambitious parts of Biden's agenda, like the proposed Child Tax Credit expansion. 

Hello and Welcome!

Tax season is here, the chances of Congress passing the Build Back Better bill are dwindling, unemployment is holding steady, and Facebook has taken a hit to its stock price.

Today, 11 February, we at AS USA will be bringing you all the personal finance and economic news you need.

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