This year’s stimulus checks and child tax credit payments have provided much-needed cash to millions of families during the pandemic. A fourth stimulus check, on the other hand, is unlikely to arrive in 2021. They can, however, expect to receive another stimulus payment of up to $1,400 if they have a baby or adopt this year – though it is unlikely to arrive until 2022.
Additional “plus-up” payments from the IRS for owed stimulus amounts, as well as tax refunds on 2020 unemployment compensation, are also on the way. California residents will soon receive another round of Golden State Stimulus checks in the amount of $600 (or up to $1,100). Teachers and school staff in several states are also receiving $1,000 “thank you” payments.
As households across the United States continue to face financial insecurity and the delta variant rises, there is certainly widespread support for a fourth stimulus payment, as evidenced by a petition calling for $2,000 monthly checks that has garnered over 2.85 million signatures. However, Congress is now focused on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion federal budget package, leaving a fourth economic impact payment off the table.
For 2021, a temporary expansion of the child tax credit sends qualifying families up to $3,600 per child. The advance partial payments of up to $300 per dependent, which began this summer, will be made monthly (the next one will be made on Sept. 15) through the end of the year, with a final payment in 2022. Parents can also choose to defer the advance monthly payments and receive their payment in the spring instead.
The third stimulus payments of up to $1,400 are still being distributed in batches to those who qualify. The IRS is also distributing “plus-up” payments, which are extra funds that make up the difference between the stimulus amount you already received (based on your 2019 tax return) and the amount you are eligible to receive. In addition, if a member of your family becomes a dependent in 2021, such as a newborn or foster child, they may be eligible for a $1,400 payment.
California has approved two rounds of state-level stimulus payments to residents who are eligible. These payments, known as Golden State Stimulus I and II, are intended to help low-income Californians and those experiencing hardship as a result of the pandemic, according to the state. The expanded Golden State Stimulus II, which amounts to a one-time payment of $600, is available to nearly two-thirds of residents, with checks beginning to be distributed in September. To qualify, you must have been a California resident for the majority of 2020 and continue to live in California, have filed a 2020 tax return, earned less than $75,000 (adjusted gross income and wages), have a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, and your children cannot be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.
The White House has proposed several packages since the American Rescue Plan, including the American Jobs Plan and the Build Back Better agenda, but none of them call for more direct aid. According to a June statement by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, President Joe Biden is “open to a range of ideas” regarding stimulus aid, but has already proposed what would be “the most effective in the short term.”
A Change.org petition with over 2.85 million signatures asks Congress to send out a fourth stimulus check of $2,000 for adults and $1,000 for children on a monthly basis for the duration of the pandemic. The petition states that “the recovery hasn’t reached many Americans,” emphasizing the need for immediate and recurring payments so that “we can keep our heads above water.” While the Change.org petition is close to becoming one of the most popular on its website, whether it will have any effect is another question.