There have been three stimulus packages distributed to American taxpayers since the start of the pandemic, most recently the American Rescue Plan that President Biden signed in early March. That package distributed $1,400 one-time checks for most Americans.
Whether a fourth stimulus package passes this year is very much an open question. Senators and interest groups have pushed for more checks to go out this year, possibly as part of other legislation such as the “Build Back Better” infrastructure package. But the Biden Administration has not indicated that they’re planning to distribute a fourth round of checks, at least in the short term.
However, even if more checks don’t go out this year, TV station WJW recently looked at some ways that additional payments might be distributed by the end of the year.
One would be a fourth stimulus package, in the unlikely event that one passes later this year. That’s also the case with recurring payments, which some members of Congress have also suggested, although the administration has reportedly not gotten on board with that either.
There’s also the expanded child tax credit, which the American Rescue Plan mandated, and will result in monthly payments to families with children starting this summer. Biden is expected to propose, in his upcoming address to Congress, that those payments be extended to 2025, although some members of Congress have called for those payments to be made permanent.
It’s also possible that Congress could pass a minimum wage hike, and renew federal unemployment benefits.
Some Americans are still waiting to be paid their stimulus money from the American Rescue Plan, and are advised to check out the IRS’ Get My Payment tool, on the agency’s website, to see where their check is and how soon they can expect to receive it.
“Do not call the IRS. Our phone assistors don’t have information beyond what’s available on IRS.gov,” the IRS’s website says of those asking about the status of their payments.
There’s a bit of a controversy over whether the stimulus payments will go out to prisoners, or others who have been convicted of crimes. A court ruled last year that prisoners cannot be blocked from receiving stimulus. However, prosecutors and attorneys general in multiple states are pushing to take the checks away from incarcerated individuals, with a prosecutors in Alabama even pushing for the checks to be redirected towards the victims of crime.
Even so, with retail sales booming in March, there are indications that the stimulus payments have been successful, at least so far, in stimulating consumer sentiment and improving the overall economic picture for the U.S.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.