Stimulus Check Update: Waiting for More Stimulus Money? Separating Fact From Fiction

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Knowing what to expect is the best way to plan for the future.

Key points

  • While federal stimulus checks are probably behind us, there may be more Child Tax Credit checks on the way.
  • Politicians hold the purse strings and infighting makes them unpredictable.

It is estimated that the average adult makes 35,000 decisions each day. Decisions range from the mundane (like what to have for lunch) to serious (like whether to have a suspicious mole checked out by a dermatologist). We're also bombarded with opinions, gossip, and stories of all kinds. The information highway is relentless, demanding our attention, confusing us with conflicting opinions, and leading to what some experts call "decision fatigue."

Here, we've decided to cut through the mental clutter by taking a look at some of the most popular rumors surrounding stimulus and extended Child Tax Credit checks. And to put your mind at ease, we'll offer our honest opinion regarding what's true and what's pure bunk. Let's begin with the biggest story out there:

There are sure to be more federal stimulus checks landing in American bank accounts in 2022


While the federal government may stop what they're doing, change course, and send another stimulus check, we should not count on it. There are several reasons to doubt more stimulus funds will hit our bank accounts.

  • Despite pandemic-related inflation, the economy is improving. Congress would be far more interested in sending more stimulus funds if the economy was faltering.
  • It's 2022, and mid-term elections dominate the actions of each political party. In short, Democrats and Republicans both want to go into 2023 with control of the House of Representatives and Senate. Republicans do not want to do anything that would make the Biden administration look good, including sending more funds to the American people.
  • Other issues, like President Biden's Build Back Better Act, climate change, gun violence, inflation, and the current housing shortage, have taken center stage, distracting lawmakers from the immediate needs of their constituents.

Some Americans will receive $1,400 more in 2022


While most Americans have received the third coronavirus relief payment (sent last spring), families who welcomed a new dependent in 2021 are entitled to an additional $1,400 payment per dependent. That means that each additional dependent will bring additional stimulus funds. Say a family adopted three siblings. They would be due $4,200 ($1,400 x 3).

To qualify for the full stimulus amount, a household must fall below these income requirements: $150,000 for married people filing jointly and $75,000 for individuals.

There are sure to be more extended Child Tax Credit checks landing in American bank accounts in 2022


Lawmakers left Washington for their holiday break without passing President Biden's Build Back Better Act (BBBA). By leaving the outcome of the act up in the air, they left the parents and caretakers of more than 65 million children unsure if the December Child Tax Credit payment would be their last. The payments were set to expire in December and will only be extended through 2022 if lawmakers pass the BBBA.

If Congress can get it together to pass the president's historic infrastructure plan when they return from recess, the expanded Child Tax Credit will live to see another year, and checks will continue.

Parents may receive double Child Tax Credit checks in February


If lawmakers do pass BBBA as it stands, families will be owed two payments -- one for the missed January payment and one for February. Both are expected to be paid in February.

Social Security recipients have another check coming


Never say never, but it's becoming increasingly difficult to imagine Congress sending additional funds to Social Security recipients, despite the letter written to Congressional leaders by Rick Delaney, Chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL).

Delaney's letter read in part: "We've heard from thousands of them who have exhausted their retirement savings, who have started eating just one meal a day, started cutting their pills in half because they can't afford their prescription drugs, to list just a few of the drastic steps so many have had to take because of what inflation has done to them this year."

Again, it's an election year, and some politicians are more interested in protecting their party than helping the most vulnerable in society. Some will almost certainly point to the 5.9% Social Security cost-of-living adjustment set to take effect in 2022 as their reason for not supporting another stimulus payment.

States are stepping up by sending checks


Some states have attempted to fill the gap by sending checks of their own. For example:

  • Arizona offered out-of-work residents either $1,000 or $2,000 if they would return to work. How much they received depended on whether they went back part-time or full-time.
  • California sent checks ranging from $600 to $1,100 to people earning between $30,000 and $75,000 per year.
  • Connecticut also offered out-of-work residents money for getting a job. In this case, it was $1,000.
  • Florida sent teachers and principals $1,000 to reward their commitment during the pandemic.
  • Georgia also rewarded teachers and principals with $1,000 in stimulus cash.
  • Idaho residents were offered a one-time income tax rebate, with the average check amounting to $248.
  • Maryland residents received $300 to $500 from the state, depending on whether they have children.
  • Michigan paid $500 hazard pay bonuses to teachers.
  • New Hampshire sent checks for $1,086 to families of three or more without an income.
  • New Mexico sent a round of $750 checks to households not eligible for earlier relief benefits.
  • Tennessee sent $1,000 checks to full-time public school employees. Part-time employees received $500.

There's nothing you can do


Given the noise surrounding the pandemic, lost jobs, stimulus funds, and the Child Tax Credit, it may seem as though your voice does not matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you have an opinion, share it with your elected representatives. If you're not sure who your reps are or how to find contact information, offers this simple online tool.

It's good to know where things truly stand with all the stories flying through the air right now. By knowing, you have the information you need to plan for your financial future.

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