Stimulus Update: 3 Things to Know About the Possibility of a Fourth Check

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  • Record-high inflation has many Americans hoping for a fourth stimulus check.
  • The chances of another check depend on several key factors.
  • Control of Congress and the likelihood of a recession affect whether more money will come.

A better understanding of the factors at play will help you plan for your future -- with or without another stimulus check.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have ripple effects throughout the economy. In fact, the pandemic has directly contributed to the fact that the United States is currently experiencing record-high inflation. Many Americans are struggling to pay for everyday costs with prices up so much, which is why millions are hanging on to hope for a fourth stimulus check.

But, will the federal government step up to deposit more money into Americans' bank accounts? Here's what you need to know about the likelihood that another payment will come.

1. A recession could increase the chances of a fourth check

The economy is one of the biggest factors that will determine if there is a fourth check coming. In the past, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have authorized stimulus checks during a recession.

While no one should hope for a severe economic downturn, negative economic growth and a high rate of unemployment would significantly increase the chances another stimulus payment will be sent out.

2. The results of the November election could affect the likelihood of a fourth payment

In November, Americans will vote on their House representatives and many will also vote on their senators.

Currently, the Democrats control the House of Representatives and control of the U.S. Senate is split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris able to break ties. The outcome of the November election could affect control of Congress going forward.

If Democrats are able to maintain control of the House of Representatives and can command a larger majority in the Senate, then the chances of a stimulus check increase. They would no longer need unanimous support, which they currently do not have for a fourth check because some of the more conservative Democrats in the Senate have concerns about the inflationary impact of stimulus spending.

If Democrats lose control over either chamber of commerce, a fourth payment likely won't happen even if there is a recession because Republicans are uniformly opposed to providing additional direct aid.

3. A fourth stimulus check could potentially come from your state

Finally, the location where you live will also affect the possibility of a fourth check. This is because a number of states have committed to sending out payments to residents. If you live in a place that has authorized this type of financial relief, then you are guaranteed another payment provided you qualify based on income and other parameters your state has set for eligibility.

Understanding these factors that will affect the likelihood of a fourth check can help you to plan for whether or not additional stimulus relief is going to come for you.

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