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U.S. Census Bureau data showed many Americans, especially in lower-income households, used their checks in the same way Copeland did: to pay for daily essentials like groceries, gas and utilities.
“The December stimulus proved quickly powerful,” economists at Bank of America Global Research wrote in a research note.
While many struggling Americans have used their checks to make ends meet, retail sales in January also spiked unexpectedly after some Americans put their stimulus money toward furniture, appliances or clothes. Research also shows others have saved the money or used it to pay down debt.
Elena Panyard graduated from Central Michigan University three years ago and put both of her stimulus checks toward her student loans.
“I used to dream about someone just tossing a thousand dollars in my lap so I could pay off my loans, because its so stressful,” she said.
Census Bureau data showed households with incomes between $75,00 and $99,999 were more likely to use their first stimulus payments to pay off debt or add it to savings, compared to households overall.
Researchers based out of Harvard University estimated that households earning above $78,000 only spent $45 of the recent $600 checks one month after they received them.
Some economists argue that defeats the purpose of the checks to stimulate the economy, saying the money should be more targeted toward those in need.
Here’s What You Need To Know About Stimulus Negotiations Moving Forward
The pressure is on for the Senate to pass another Covid-19 relief bill after the House pushed through their version over the weekend. Here’s a look at what has happened so far, what comes next and what is a sticking point for lawmakers on both sides.
What has happened so far:
- The House passed its package Saturday. It includes $1,400 direct checks for Americans making less than $75,000 and extends federal unemployment benefits. It also adds an increase in the child tax credit, direct funding to state and local governments, funding for schools and more money for vaccine distribution.
The next step:
- Now, the Senate will vote. If passed in the chamber, the bill will have to go back to the House for a separate vote.
- The Senate version will include changes suggested by the parliamentarian â which means there will likely be no minimum wage increase included.
- If that passes by the end of the week, it gives the House time to re-pass the new version in their own chamber. It also gives the President time to sign it and gives states an opportunity to readjust their unemployment benefits with the increased benefit.
- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer predicted confidently that the House would pass the new version of the bill, shutting down the possibility that progressives, who have said they will do anything to get minimum wage passed, would go as far as not supporting the final version of the legislation if the key proposal is not included.
More on the minimum wage piece:
What Should You Do With Your Third Stimulus Check
Lets be real: Three stimulus checks in a year or so is not normal. This third payment can go a long way to help you catch up on bills, pay off debt, or build up your savings. And for a lot of folks, those stimulus checks have kept food on the table. In our State of Personal Finance study, we found that 41% of people who got a stimulus check used it to pay for necessities like food and bills.
So, based on your situation, heres where you start:
If youre out of work or missing a paycheck, use this stimulus money to protect your Four Walls:
Focus on the necessities so you can have peace of mind as you keep looking for work or get your income back up. That means if youre working the Baby Steps and youre out of work, pause your plan for now. Pile up cash until you have a steady income again. Then you can attack your debt. Theres nothing like fighting through a financial crisis to light your fire to be debt-free as soon as possible!
On the other hand, if your job is safe and you feel like itll stay that way, use your stimulus money to build momentum on whatever Baby Step youre on. Put your debt snowball into overdrive. Knock out your fully funded emergency fund . Or talk to your investment professional about giving your retirement a big boost !
No matter your situation, dont forget to budgetits the best way to make your money go further. EveryDollar is our free and simple budgeting app that will help you see exactly where you need to cut back on your spending.
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How Much Is The Third Stimulus Check
The third round of stimulus checks included a $1,400-per-person direct payment. This amount topped off the $600 payment that most eligible folks already got as part of a previous COVID-19 relief package. Congress passed that one at the end of December 2020 for a total of $2,000 in stimulus payments per person. So, how much should you have gotten in your third stimulus check? Find out with our stimulus calculator!
The stimulus payments are one part of Bidens much larger COVID-19 relief plan that also expanded the Child Tax Credit, extended unemployment benefits for people who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic, increased the Child and Dependent Care Credit, and provided more aid for renters and landlords.6 Yep, its a mouthful.
Are Paid Sick And Family Leave Provisions Being Extended
The legislation extends through September tax breaks to employers who voluntarily provide their workers with paid sick and family leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. But it does not mandate that employers provide the leave that requirement expired on Dec. 31, and was not renewed in the legislative package signed at the end of last year.
Under the new stimulus package, self-employed people will also continue to receive leave-related tax breaks through September.
The paid leave provisions also cover time taken to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, or to recover from any illness or condition related to the immunization.
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Recommended Reading: What About 4th Stimulus Check
New Jersey: $500 Rebate Checks
In fall 2021, the New Jersey state legislature approved a budget measure to send one-time rebate checks of up to $500 to nearly a million families.
New Jersey also sent payments to those who file taxes using a taxpayer identification number instead of a Social Security number. The Excluded New Jerseyans Fund applied to nonresident and resident aliens, their spouses and dependents.
The fund has stopped accepting new applications.
Who’s Eligible For A Second Stimulus Check
The new Covid relief package follows similar guidelines as the March CARES Act in distributing stimulus checks. This is who qualifies for the full stimulus check:
- Individuals earning up to $75,000
For every $100 earned over these income thresholds, payments are reduced by $5, up to a specified maximum income, phasing out completely at $87,000 for individuals and $174,000 for couples.
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When Will My Stimulus Check Arrive
The stimulus money promised under the American Rescue Plan began to hit the bank accounts of many Americans on Wednesday, March 17 the first official payment date although some financial institutions chose to make the cash available to people even before it arrived from the government.
Not everyone eligible to receive a payment will have received one on Wednesday, though. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service officials said the payments will be released in batches over the next several weeks, with some coming in the mail in the form of checks or debit cards.
The Treasury Department has been working with financial institutions to try to ensure that payments arrive more quickly this time around than they did last year.
Kishida Cabinet Approves Fresh 39 Trillion Stimulus Package
- Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announces a new economic package to combat price rises during a news conference in Tokyo on Friday. | POOL / VIA REUTERS
The Cabinet of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday approved an economic stimulus package worth about ¥39 trillion in an effort to assuage the impact of rising prices driven by the plunging yen and high commodity prices.
One of the primary measures to tackle inflation is the curtailing of utility bills for households. Backed by ¥6 trillion in spending, the government aims to reduce monthly electricity, gas and gasoline costs for the average household by ¥5,000 between January and September next year.
In tackling rising prices, we have placed a particular emphasis on energy prices, Kishida said during a news conference.
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Health Care In The United States
- Obamacare: A decade after the Affordable Care Acts federal health insurance marketplace was created, its outsize and improbable popularity persists in the unlikeliest of places: South Florida.
- Drug Costs: Medicare reforms embedded in the Inflation Reduction Act will bring savings to seniors this year. But some lawmakers are already aiming to repeal the changes.
- Medical Debt: To address the high cost of health care, local governments are turning to the American Rescue Plan to wipe out residents medical debt. Experts caution that it is a short-term solution.
- Medicare Advantage: Federal officials are proposing tougher rules for these private plans, in response to complaints that too many claims have been wrongly denied and that marketing of the plans is deceptive.
What Else Is Included
The stimulus legislation also includes billions of dollars for housing assistance and food stamp benefits.
It creates a $25 billion program for bars and restaurants that have been forced to close amid the pandemic.
The legislation also includes $350 billion to help state and local governments weather their own budget woes. An estimated $4.9 billion of that money will come to Minnesota.
The bill passed the House on a 220-211 vote, with no Republicans voting in favor. Minnesota’s eight-member delegation split Wednesday all Democrats voted for the package and all GOP members opposed it.
Democrats said the relief bill will make a transformational change for families struggling with poverty. Republicans said it was saddled with bloat and would significantly help improve the economy.
Also Check: Filing For Stimulus Check 2021
Are There Any Other Changes
For the purposes of calculating the credit in the 2021 tax year, taxpayers could choose to use their 2019 income if it was higher than 2021, according to a Senate aide.
People who otherwise would be eligible but whose children do not have Social Security numbers will be permitted to claim the version of the credit available to childless households. This change is permanent.
Taxpayers wont be disqualified for the credit in 2021 until they have investment income of $10,000, up from $3,650. This change will be permanent, with the $10,000 threshold indexed to inflation.
How Are Separated Spouses Be Affected
This applies only if the taxpayer lived with a qualifying child for more than half of the taxable year and didnt have the same principal home as the spouse at least six months of the year. A separation decree or agreement would also suffice, as long as the individual didnt live with the spouse by the end of the taxable year.
This change will be permanent.
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Stimulus And Relief Package 2
The second relief package, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act , or Phase Two, was signed into law on March 18, 2020. The law allocated a budget for relief that included the following:
- Providing money for families who rely on free school lunches in light of widespread school closures
- Mandating that companies with fewer than 500 employees provide paid sick leave for those suffering from COVID-19, as well as providing a tax credit to help employers cover those costs
- Providing nearly $1 billion in additional unemployment insurance money for states, as well as loans to states to fund unemployment insurance
- Funding and cost waivers to make COVID-19 testing free for everyone
Separately, on March 18, 2020, the Federal Housing Administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency implemented foreclosure and eviction moratoriums for single-family homeowners whose mortgages were FHA-insured or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The eviction moratorium on FHA and other government-backed loans was extended to Sept. 30, 2021. Additionally, the FHFA announced on Sept. 24, 2021, that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would continue to offer COVID-19 forbearance to multifamily property owners who were experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency.
A 3rd Stimulus Check Could Be Coming Heres What Americans Did With The Others
Lawmakers will vote this week on President Joe Bidens COVID-19 relief package.
For millions of Americans like 27-year-old Edvonte Copeland, stimulus checks from the federal government have provided a financial lifeline.
A special education assistant and assistant athletic director at a high school in Minneapolis, Copelands work became unpredictable as the pandemic forced classrooms to go virtual.
When the most recent $600 check arrived in the mail, Copeland immediately used it to help pay his bills.
“When Im not working, Im not able to do anything, but the bills are still coming,” he said.
Also Check: Is The $1 200 Stimulus Check Taxable
Biden Praises Passage Of Covid
From CNN’s Nikki Carvajal and Maegan Vazquez
President Biden praised the passage of the American Rescue Plan moments after it passed the House on Wednesday and vowed to sign it on Friday.
This legislation is about giving the backbone of this nation the essential workers, the working people who built this country, the people who keep this country going a fighting chance, Biden said in a statement.
On Friday, I look forward to signing the American Rescue Plan into law at the White House a peoples law at the peoples house,” Biden said.
The President thanked “all the members who voted for it, especially Speaker Pelosi, the finest and most capable speaker in the history of our nation.”
Physical stimulus checks sent to American households last year included a note on the bottom left with then-President Trump’s name. Individuals receiving electronic stimulus payments also received a letter signed by the President.
Psaki said during Tuesday’s White House press briefing that Biden didn’t think the inclusion of his signature on the payments “was a priority or a necessary step. His focus was on getting them out as quickly as possible.”
Governor Newsom Proposes $181 Billion Inflation Relief Package
Package includes direct payments to help address costs of rising inflation and past-due water and utility bills, free public transit, money for health care workers, middle-class health care subsidies, and waiving child care fees for families
SACRAMENTO As people throughout the country face increasing costs due to global inflation, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced an $18.1 billion inflation relief package to get money into the pockets of Californians.
We enacted the most comprehensive economic stimulus program in the nation last year, getting billions in immediate relief to millions of Californians. But many folks are still struggling, especially with high costs due to inflation, so were leveraging this historic surplus to get money back into the pockets of Californians, said Governor Newsom. This inflation relief package will help offset the higher costs that Californians are facing right now and provide support to those still recovering from the pandemic.
Governor Newsoms inflation relief package includes:
The wage increase will benefit millions of California households that are struggling to keep pace with the highest rate of inflation in decades. For years, the state minimum wage has increased steadily while inflation numbers remained modest.
This inflation relief package builds off of Governor Newsoms nation-leading stimulus package last year, which helped accelerate Californias economic recovery and support those hit hardest by the pandemic, including:
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How Will You Receive The Third Stimulus Check
Most people got their previous stimulus checks by direct deposit with the bank account on file with the IRS. Payments were automatic for anyone who filed a 2019 tax return and/or was receiving Social Security benefits. If you didnt have direct deposit with the IRS, your payment would take a little more time and come as a check or debit card in the mail.13
Congress Just Passed Biden’s $19 Trillion Covid
From CNN’s Clare Foran, Ryan Nobles, Katie Lobosco and Tami Luhby
The House just voted to approve the Covid-19 relief bill, paving the way for President Biden to sign his top legislative priority into law.
House Democrats passed the legislation on a party line vote of 220-211. No Republicans voted in favor. One Democrat voted against the bill: Rep. Jared Golden of Maine.
White te House press secretary Jen Psaki said today that Biden will sign the bill on Friday afternoon at the White House.
Passage of the bill marks the first major legislative achievement of the new administration and a Congress that is now under full Democratic control, with narrow majorities in the House and Senate.
Key features of the package include:
- Up to $1,400-per-person stimulus payments that will send money to about 90% of households
Illinois: $50 And $300 Rebates
There are two rebates available to 2021 Illinois residents.
The first rebate is the individual income tax rebate, available for residents whose adjusted gross income is less than $200,000 per year . Each individual will receive $50, with an additional $100 per eligible dependent .
The second rebate is a property tax rebate, available for residents making $250,000 or less . The rebate is equal to the property tax credit you qualified to claim on your tax return, up to a maximum of $300.
The state started issuing rebates the week of September 12 it will take several months to issue them all, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue.