But according to a new survey conducted by Bankrate, these modest checks will only amount to a short-term answer for most individuals amid the ongoing pandemic.
The poll revealed that two-thirds of Americans receiving a stimulus check “say the payment is important to their near-term financial situation. That total includes 40 percent who say the relief check will be very important and another 27 percent who say the payment is somewhat important.”
Meanwhile, more than six in ten adults admit the stimulus payments “won’t sustain their financial well-being for more than three months, as most plan to allocate proceeds toward covering monthly bills (45 percent), daily necessities such as food and supplies (36 percent), and outstanding debt (32 percent).”
Others are mired in an even more dire situation. A shade over 20 percent of Americans have acknowledged that the stimulus funds won’t last a full month and another 14 percent say the cash won’t improve their current finances at all.
“Stimulus continues to be a bit of a misnomer, with households predominantly using the money to pay monthly bills and provide day-to-day essentials,” Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst, said in a statement.
“Even households with those bases covered are opting to pay down debt and boost savings—prudent decisions that lead to more sustained spending in the future,” he added.
Such survey data will likely underscore the need for a fourth or even a fifth round of direct stimulus payments. To date, Congress has green-lighted the delivery of three stimulus checks to most Americans—a $1,200 check in April 2020, $600 in December, and the current $1,400 payments.
With an eye on giving even more financial help to Americans, twenty-one Democratic senators recently signed off on a letter to President Joe Biden in support of recurring stimulus payments.
They also pointed to recent polling data that revealed that a majority of Americans strongly support recurring stimulus payments.
“Polling shows 65 percent of Americans support recurring cash payments ‘for the duration of the pandemic.’ This includes support from 54 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of independents. Economists support the idea too,” they wrote.
As far back as January, Rep. Ilhan Omar asserted that Americans deserve more financial assistance.
“A one-time payment of $2,000 is simply not enough,” she said. “The American people are counting on us to deliver transformative change, and we need to meet the moment by delivering monthly payments of $2,000.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.