Stimulus Update: The Truth About Social Security Recipients and a Fourth Stimulus Check
- As months pass, the odds of Congress approving a fourth check diminish.
- For Social Security recipients needing financial assistance, help is available.
Rumors regarding a fourth stimulus check are making the rounds.
Despite inflation, the U.S. economy has managed to survive one of the worst global pandemics in history. But with an unemployment rate lingering at 3.6%, there's little chance that Congress will approve another stimulus check for the majority of Americans.
Still, that reality has not slowed rumors regarding a fourth stimulus payment to Social Security recipients. Social Security, paid to retirees and those who cannot work due to disability, may arrive reliably but it does not keep up with inflation. And that is one of the primary reasons Rick Delaney, chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), sent a letter to Congress asking for a one-time $1,400 stimulus payment for those on Social Security.
To put this in perspective, Delaney sent his letter in October 2021. That's seven months ago. In those seven months, coverage of the letter has made the rounds of talk radio, newspapers, and online publications (including The Ascent). The possibility of a fourth check has been covered so often that it's easy to understand how people might be confused.
Here's where we're at
Congress has not addressed the issue of another payment to Social Security recipients. Regardless of rumors to the contrary, the IRS has not been ordered to issue a fourth payment to any American.
Congress has not outright rejected the proposal, so the issue is not quite dead and buried. However, no one should count on another round of stimulus payments from the federal government.
What to do instead
If you're a Social Security recipient who finds yourself struggling to make ends meet, these organizations are designed with you in mind.
Help with housing
If you're on Social Security and concerned that you may not be able to make your mortgage payments, there may be relief options available through your state or mortgage lender. If you choose to work with a housing counselor, that person will help you tailor a plan of action, at no cost to you. You can locate a housing counselor through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.
Although the CDC eviction moratorium ended last summer, help is still available to renters who may have trouble paying their rent or utilities. Visit this page for the contact information you'll need.
Lost your housing
If you're without a home, this web page spells out where you can find safe temporary housing, pay bills, and even protect your credit score.
If you're a Social Security recipient and need legal advice, you may qualify for free legal aid. Here's where you can find a lawyer in your state.
If you're having trouble coming up with the money to buy groceries, do not go hungry. There are hundreds of organizations across the country that exist solely to provide you with the food you need.
To find a food pantry near you, check out the FoodFinder website. All you need to do is type in your zip code. FoodFinding instantly shows a map of your area, with red indicators showing where each pantry is located. Click on any of the indicators and you'll find the name of the organization sponsoring the food bank, as well as the address.
If you don't drive or have transportation, call one of the organizations near you to learn if they deliver.
Finally, if you're eligible, apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in your state. And while you're at it, visit the USDA website to find several other innovative food programs for people over 60.
As time passes, the odds of Congress approving another stimulus check lessen. Still, there are community programs, churches, and government programs that want to help.
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