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USA finance and payments news summary: Monday 30 May 2022

Update:
The latest US financial news, updates and information today, as the country continues to struggle with high levels of inflation and record gas prices.

US finance: live updates

Headlines: 30 May 2022

- Average US gas price rises to record $4.619 per litre

- No announcement yet amid speculation Biden could announce large-scale student debt forgiveness

- Personal consumption price index shows inflation slowed slightly in April

- Online searches for baby formula soar as shortages continue

Helpful info & links

- California State Disability Insurance scheme: the lowdown

- Governor Newsom proposing $400 rebate for California car owners

- Pennsylvania governor wants to send residents $2,000 stimulus check

- Which states in the US spend the the most on Medicaid?

- New York unemployment benefits: what is the maximum?

- Things to consider before retiring

More AS USA related articles:

How can I check Social Security payments online?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) allows beneficiaries to keep an eye on their payments through a range of online services designed to make your life easiest. Simply sign up for a MySocialSecurity account and you can get all your Social Security information at your fingertips. Through your online account you can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits online, check the status of an application or appeal, and, in most parts of the country, request a replacement Social Security card. 

“Congress could help right away by passing clean energy tax credits …A dozen CEOs of America’s largest utility companies told me earlier this year that my plan would reduce the average family’s annual utility bills by $500

Joe Biden, POTUS

How much higher will gas prices go in the US?

The high price of gasoline in the United States has reached new levels over the Memorial Day weekend with millions of Americans choosing to travel to visit friends and family. But does the $4.619 national average recorded on Monday represent the peak?

Probably not, says GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan, and the price could continue to rise over the summer months. There appears to be no end in sight to the sanctions on Russian-produced crude oil, meaning that the suppy of oil products (such as gasoline) cannot satisfy the demand. 

US Economy: Experts fear United States could enter a recession if spending continues to slow

US NEWS

US Economy: Experts fear United States could enter a recession if spending continues to slow

Despite positive unemployment figures and the end of nearly every pandemic restriction, the US economy is headed for the rocks. Inflation, currently standing at 8.3 percent year-on-year, is threatening to pull the plug on economic progress. Prices for some of the most neccessary commodities are at record levels, such as fuel and grain, without a clear end date for when things may get better.

Read more

We’re expecting it will be the largest climate bill of the next Congress.

Heather Reams, executive director of conservative Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions

[Farmers are] feeling the impacts of climate change before the rest of us... Methane primarily comes out the front end, not the back end... But if you’re putting a dollar value on methane, then there’s no reason to reduce methane.

Scott Faber, Environmental Working Group

What could be included in next years farm bill?

Planning is underway for a new bill next year that will be heavily focused upon climate action as the US experiences its some of its worst droughts in decades.

One of the main problems is methane gas. With the US market constantly expanding, the increased gasses pose a problem for sustainability. One option, often pushed by conservative lawmakers and advocates, is trapping methane and selling it under the moniker “renewable natural gas.”

US President Joe Biden’s latest plan to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower.

US NEWS

US President Joe Biden’s latest plan to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower.

The Washington Post published an article on May 27 detailing the Biden administration’s plan regarding student debt. According to three people familiar with the situation, there will be an upcoming announcement that the president will forgive $10,000 in debt for graduates earning under a certain limit.

Read more

Stimulus checks and how the US government has helped Americans

US News

Stimulus checks and how the US government has helped Americans

When the pandemic first hit the United States in February 2020, the country experienced a severe recession. By April 2020, the unemployment rate rose to 14.7%, the highest since the Great Depression. Lower-income families suffered the most from the impact, and so the government enacted programs to help alleviate the economic hardships caused by the covid 19 pandemic and to stimulate the US economy.

As of March 2022, more than $1.5 trillion had been sent out to people across America through Economic Impact Payments (better known as stimulus checks), tax refunds, and advance Child Tax Credit payments.

Read more

Can children with disabilities get Social Security benefits?

US NEWS

Can children with disabilities get Social Security benefits?

The SSA offers support for disabled children and adults though the Supplemental Security Income.

AS USA's Will Gittins has all the details on how to apply

Spending on pet food steady despite inflation - Petco CEO

Despite the high rate of inflation in the US, pet owners aren’t limiting their spending on food for their animals, says the CEO of Petco, a major American pet retailer.

“The majority of our business is staples,” Ron Coughlin said on Yahoo Finance Live. “Just like you don’t cut back on milk or eggs, pet parents don’t cut back on food for their pets.

In fact, what we’re seeing is upgrading of foods, continued premiumization toward the most premium kibbles, fresh frozen foods.”

Can I qualify for Social Security disability benefits if I get veterans’ benefits?

SOCIAL SECURITY

Can I qualify for Social Security disability benefits if I get veterans’ benefits?

Veterans are entitled to receive Social Security payments, alongside extra compensation that can be received if they are injured.

AS USA's Oli Povey has all the info

How many hours can I work and still receive Social Security Disability (SSDI)?

US NEWS

How many hours can I work and still receive Social Security Disability (SSDI)?

Disabled Americans can receive monthly payments from the SSA to top up their household income, provided their earnings do not exceed a certain threshold.

AS USA's Will Gittins has the lowdown

Gas prices Memorial Day

High gas prices coincide with Memorial Day rush

A customer refuels a Uhaul truck at a gas station in Annapolis, Maryland, this weekend. This year gas prices have jumped 40% since January, to a record of $4.62 a gallon on Memorial Day, the traditional start of the peak driving season.

(Photo: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Bitcoin ATMs in the US a target for fraud

Bitcoin ATMs in the US are providing a platform for the fraudulent movement of money, CNBC reports.

The machines, which - up to a certain amount - allow users to exchange cash for bitcoin without the need to identify themselves, are aiding the activities of criminals such as drug traffickers and money launderers.

“It seems like it’s very simple,” Lisa Cialino of the New Jersey Commission of Investigation told CNBC. “There’s no ID collected, there’s no photo taken, there’s no address.”

Check out CNBC's full report:

Retirement: Is now OK to retire? What should I consider before making that decision?

LATEST NEWS

Retirement: Is now OK to retire? What should I consider before making that decision?

However you may feel about retirement, it’s a reality you’ll have to face eventually.

AS USA's Gidget Alikpala takes a look at some factors you should consider before deciding to leave the working wold.

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

US NEWS

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

Totalling $3,200, three federal stimulus checks have been paid out to qualifying Americans since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic just over two years ago. The direct payments have also included additional credits for households with eligible dependents.

AS USA looks back over the trio of stimulus checks, officially known as Economic Impact Payments.

Is Pennsylvania getting a new $2,000 stimulus check?

US NEWS

Is Pennsylvania getting a new $2,000 stimulus check?

Employing federal stimulus funds that will be lost if they aren't used, Governor Tom Wolf is pushing for direct payments of up to $2,000 for Pennsylvanians.

AS USA's Greg Heilman has the full story

Why student debt cancellation could yet happen

There was speculation that President Biden might confirm a large-scale program of student debt forgiveness this weekend - but although he did not make such an announcement, Forbes finance specialist Zack Friedman still believes it may come.

In a piece published on Sunday, Friedman offers five reasons why heavy-duty student loan cancellation could yet become a reality, including the benefits it would bring for the US economy.

“If Biden cancels $50,000 of student loan debt, it could also help financially vulnerable student loan borrowers who want a fresh start on their student loans or who are more prone to enter student loan default when student loan payments restart,” Friedman writes.

$400 check for car owners: what does the proposal consist of and who is in favor of its approval?

US NEWS

$400 check for car owners: what does the proposal consist of and who is in favor of its approval?

California Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing a scheme whereby car owners in the Golden State are given $400 rebates, with up to two drivers per vehicle receiving a check.

AS USA's Greg Heilman has the lowdown

Gas prices

Gas prices reach new high on Monday

Gas prices in the United States have risen to another all-time high on Monday, with the average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded now costing $4.619, according to data compiled by AAA.

The highest price per gallon is in California, where drivers are being charged an average of $6.153, AAA says.

Check out AAA's gas price figures for the US today

(Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

US finance news, live updates: welcome

Good morning and welcome to AS USA's daily live blog for Monday 30 May 2022, bringing you the latest financial news in the United States

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