Stimulus Update: Millions of Americans Are Getting Stimulus Checks -- but Not From the Federal Government

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  • Despite roaring inflation, there are no plans for a fourth federal stimulus check.
  • Some states, however, are sharing excess funds with residents.

Some states are taking stimulus matters into their own hands.

For months on end, inflation has been soaring, and consumers are desperate for relief. Many Americans depleted their savings and racked up costly debt during the early stages of the pandemic. And while things have improved since then from a jobs perspective, economically, things are still tough for a lot of people due to higher living costs.

In fact, many people are still holding out hope for a fourth stimulus check on the part of the federal government. The last stimulus check of that nature was approved in March of 2021.

But while the federal government has no plans to give out stimulus aid, some states are stepping up to help struggling residents. And if yours is one of them, you may have a windfall coming your way this year.

Why are states sending out stimulus funds?

Lawmakers across the country recognize that inflation and soaring gas prices (a byproduct of both inflation and the Ukraine conflict) are hurting Americans. And so they're trying to do what they can to provide relief.

The states that are sending out stimulus checks are able to do so because they have excess funds in their budgets. And so rather than spend that money on things like schools and infrastructure, they're instead giving money out to individuals and letting them decide how they want or need to spend it.

Of course, this approach has been met with some degree of criticism. By sharing stimulus funds with residents, the states that are doing so could be missing out on key opportunities to invest in things like parks, better roads, and other things that could improve residents' quality of life and even drive more revenue into their states.

But still, at this point, struggling Americans would probably rather get a check that they can spend on essentials, like food and utilities, rather than see lawmakers spend that money on larger-scale projects. And so it's easy to argue that state-based stimulus checks are a good thing.

Is there any hope for a fourth federal stimulus check?

The reason lawmakers approved a stimulus round last March was that unemployment was still rampant and Americans on a whole needed relief. At this point, the job market is strong -- but that could change later this year or early next.

Many financial experts are warning that an economic recession could be imminent, especially in light of interest rate hikes that could lead to a pullback in consumer spending. Interestingly, a recession could be just the thing to cool inflation. But it could also spur a wave of unemployment.

If that were to happen, there's a chance lawmakers would agree to a federal stimulus round, since it's a tactic that's been used before. But economic conditions would really need to worsen for that sort of aid to get approved, and frankly, that's not something anyone should wish for.

As it is, so many people are struggling at a time when they may not have even recovered from the economic events of 2020. And the last thing people in that boat need is to experience an added setback by getting laid off.

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