Although most Americans have already spent their COVID-19 stimulus money on necessities, lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have been dragging their feet on negotiating a second coronavirus payment. Sadly, the chances of a compromise are far from certain, the timeline is tight, and there's a good chance no second check will come from the federal government.
But that doesn't mean there's no hope for more COVID-19 money. In fact, throughout the country, some places have already begun providing additional funds for residents who need them. And more may follow suit.
More stimulus money is already available in these states
Stimulus funds have already been made available by local governments across the country, in places as diverse as Alaska and Florida.
In Orange County, Florida, for example, residents are eligible for one-time payments up to $1,000 while businesses can qualify for $10,000 grants. The county started accepting applications June 8, and the funds are available to local residents who rent or own a home in the area and who experienced a job loss or reduction in hours in their households due to COVID-19. Information and the link to apply can be found on the county's website.
Chicago is also providing stimulus money through a program called the Chicago Resiliency Fund, but these payments are limited to those who were excluded from the federal coronavirus stimulus checks. Applications will be accessible online beginning June 22, and grants of up to $1,000 will be available to qualifying city residents.
And residents of Skagway, Alaska, will get even more help from their local government after a municipal resolution established the Emergency Assistance and Economic Stimulus Program to provide monthly stimulus checks valued at $1,000 per household member (including children) for six months. Applications are available online, and eligibility is based on demonstrated need.
Both Orange County and Skagway are using funds made available by the CARES Act to provide this COVID-19 money to local residents. The CARES Act established a $150 billion relief fund that offers aid to state, local, and tribal governments. Distributing money to those in need is one of the permissible uses of these funds.
Because this federal money is available, there's a good chance that other locales could soon follow suit and pass some of it on to people in need.
Will your state provide a COVID-19 payment?
The best way to find out if your state will provide any relief is to watch your local newspaper, sign up for email alerts from your governor or other local politicians, or check with your state's health and human services department.
If more funds become available, you can use them to save or invest. Since the federal government potentially won't distribute a second round of stimulus checks even as the country enters a recession, the funds from your state or local government may be the last payment to help you through the COVID-19 crisis.