There appears to be no shortage of active petitions circulating across the country that are demanding another round or two of stimulus checks.
In fact, there are currently a total of seven petitions calling for government-issued monthly direct payments until the nearly two-year-long pandemic ends—and as of this writing, they have altogether amassed more than five million signatures.
Do take note that these demands come as Congress has already green-lighted the delivery of three much-needed stimulus checks to most Americans—a $1,200 check in April 2020, $600 in December, and the $1,400 payments approved last March under President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
Of those seven petitions, the most popular one was launched by a struggling Denver-area restaurant owner. “I’m calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis,” says the Change.org petition, which is fewer than thirty thousand signatures away from reaching its ambitious three-million target.
“Our restaurant community is wrestling with seeing everything we all have worked so hard for irrevocably changed. Our hearts were breaking as we watched our staff divide the ingredients in our kitchen to bring to their homes: a dismal token for employees who worked tirelessly every day. Our talented and cherished team, some of whom have been with us since we opened our doors fifteen years ago, are now without an income,” it adds.
It now appears that senior citizens on Social Security are also calling for more direct payments to help offset rising costs from everything from medical care and food to used cars. Social Security recipients did certainly receive great news last month when the Social Security Administration (SSA) confirmed that there will be a 5.9 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for next year. However, many still feel that boost isn’t enough.
“While the high COLA is welcome, we have received hundreds of emails from retired and disabled Social Security recipients who say that the low COLAs in recent years have not kept pace with their rising costs,” Mary Johnson, the Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for the Senior Citizens League, recently told CNN.
In light of this, the Senior Citizens League is demanding $1,400 stimulus checks that target Social Security recipients.
“Social Security benefits are one of the few types of income in retirement adjusted for inflation. But soaring inflation has taken a toll on household finances of retired and disabled Social Security recipients,” the group writes in the petition.
“In 2021, Social Security benefits increased by just 1.3 percent raising the average benefit by only about $20 a month. But about 86 percent of Social Security recipients surveyed say their expenses increased by much more than that amount,” it continues.
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-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.