by Maurie Backman | Feb. 15, 2021
How's that for good news?
Millions of Americans have been hurting financially since the coronavirus pandemic took hold almost a year ago. Unemployment has been rampant, and in the absence of adequate childcare, many parents have been forced to cut their hours or drop out of the labor force altogether, thereby resulting in income loss.
President Joe Biden, however, is intent on providing near-term aid to the public. He's proposed a $1.9 trillion relief package that includes extended and boosted unemployment benefits as well as an additional $1,400 stimulus payment. And now, it seems as though that payment may hit Americans' bank accounts as early as mid to late March.
Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she's confident a relief package will be signed into law before the middle of March. That's when extended unemployment benefits are set to expire for many people who are currently receiving jobless aid.
If Pelosi's timeline is correct, then Americans who are in line to receive a stimulus payment via direct deposit could start seeing that cash in mid-March, since the IRS only needs a few days to get those payments out to the public. Those who aren't signed up for direct deposit may need to wait a number of weeks beyond mid-March to receive a paper check or debit card with stimulus funds in the mail. But even in that scenario, it's possible that those who aren't getting direct deposit will still have their money by late March or early to mid-April.
The main reason for such a quick turnaround is that Democrats aren't wasting time negotiating with Republican lawmakers. Rather, they're pushing their relief legislation forward through a process known as reconciliation.
The income thresholds for stimulus eligibility are looking like they'll be the same for this third round as they were for previous rounds. Individuals earning $75,000 or less and married couples earning $150,000 or less will be in line for a full stimulus, and from there, those payments will start to phase out.
The only difference is that this time around, payments may be cut off for individuals earning $100,000 and married couples earning $200,000. The goal of this is to prevent higher earners from getting stimulus funds -- something Republicans have been opposed to from the start. In fact, agreeing to this cutoff is a compromise of sorts on Democrats' part, though some Republican lawmakers had initially asked for even lower income thresholds for this third stimulus round.
Given the number of Americans who are still unemployed or struggling with extra expenses during the pandemic, quick relief on the stimulus front is important. If stimulus checks do go out in late March or early April, that money could end up coinciding with tax refunds (the IRS officially started accepting returns on Feb. 12). The result? Those who are having a hard time making ends meet may actually have a chance to dig out, regroup, and perhaps even stash some money away for a rainy day.
If you have credit card debt, transferring it to this top balance transfer card can allow you to pay 0% interest for a whopping 18 months! That’s one reason our experts rate this card as a top pick to help get control of your debt. It’ll allow you to pay 0% interest on both balance transfers and new purchases until 2022, and you’ll pay no annual fee. Read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2021 The Ascent. All rights reserved.