Stimulus Check Update: Biden Administration Announces New $600 Payment for Some Americans

by Christy Bieber | Published on Sept. 28, 2021

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Will you get a $600 stimulus check?

Many Americans have signed a petition requesting a fourth stimulus check as they continue to struggle with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawmakers haven't yet moved forward with a broad-based effort to deposit another direct payment into Americans' bank accounts -- but the Biden administration did announce recently that a specific group of Americans will get another $600.

So, who is on track for this financial relief? Here's what you need to know.

A fourth stimulus payment is coming to certain workers

According to an announcement from the U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the Biden administration is planning to distribute another stimulus payment to workers in certain industries. Specifically, money will be distributed to:

  • Meatpacking workers
  • Farmworkers
  • Grocery store workers

The funds will come from a $700 million program authorized to help employees within these industries. It is not clear exactly how the money will be distributed, but up to $20 million of the funds is earmarked for workers in grocery stores.

The funding was initially authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law in March by the Biden administration. The Department of Agriculture had flexibility in how the $700 million was to be spent, which included the authority to use it for food production workers.

Vilsack explained the reason for the additional payment, emphasizing the fact that the additional stimulus money is "a reflection of the essential nature of the work performed in the pandemic."

The purpose of the $600 is to help to reimburse these "essential" workers for things like personal protective equipment, care for dependents, lost wages during the pandemic, and expenses related to vaccination. However, no receipts will be required to become eligible for funding.

"We recognize that our farmworkers, meatpacking workers, and grocery workers overcame unprecedented challenges and took on significant personal risk to ensure Americans could feed and sustain their families throughout the pandemic," Vilsack said in explaining the justification for providing these funds. "They deserve recognition for their resilience."

While the money was provided by the Biden administration and the U.S. Agriculture Secretary announced the program, the money will not be distributed directly by the federal government this time. The three prior stimulus checks made available by coronavirus relief legislation were deposited into people's bank accounts or sent via check by the IRS. This time, state agencies, tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations will be providing the funds to eligible workers.

Vilsack indicated that the money will be sent to agencies with a proven track record of being responsive to the needs of workers, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will determine exactly how much each agency receives to distribute. Specifically, Vilsack gave an example of prioritizing agencies who had worked with migrant workers in the past.

Workers who could potentially be eligible should watch carefully for news of exactly which agencies will be distributing the funds and what is required to obtain their share.

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