Here’s What You Need to Know About Federal and State Stimulus Checks

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

As late as July 2021, the IRS was still distributing checks as part of the third round of economic stimulus payments. Over 2 million people received the $1,400 guaranteed by the American Rescue Plan passed in March, but millions living in the US are still feeling the effects of the pandemic recession. Here’s the latest on financial assistance resources and options for those struggling to pay the bills:

  • Will there be a fourth round of stimulus checks?

    No. As of now, another round of federal stimulus checks is unlikely, and the Biden administration hasn’t indicated they’re willing to explore it further. The IRS is still dealing with a huge backlog of refunds from 2020 so if you still haven’t received one or more of the first three stimulus payments, you aren’t the only one.
  • Which states are providing economic stimulus payments?
    On August 27, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California residents could expect to receive anywhere from $500-$1,100 from the Golden State Stimulus II in September. Residents are eligible if they:
    • Filed their 2020 tax return by October 15
    • Earned $75,000 or less in adjusted gross income
    • Have been residents for more than half of the 2020 tax year

The Florida Department of Education began sending bonuses by mail to educators on August 5. With the exception of substitute teachers, full-time classrooms teachers qualify for the relief check. If you have questions, email or call the DOE hotline (877-205-2972). Governor DeSantis also approved a one-time relief payment of up to $1,000 for first responders, such as law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and firefighters in the state of Florida.

New York

The Excluded Workers Fund (EWF), which started in April 2021, provides financial relief to undocumented immigrants and other New Yorkers who were ineligible to receive federal stimulus checks or unemployment insurance. Here’s the online application, and an interactive map of community organization locations that can help you apply for this fund. 

To be eligible to receive benefits from the EWF program, applicants must show they:

  1. Lived in New York State before March 27, 2020, and continue to live in New York State;
  2. Are not eligible for and did not receive unemployment insurance or any other COVID-19 income relief or other specified benefits from the state or federal government;
  3. Earned less than $26,208 in the 12 months before April 2021; and
  4. Lost at least 50% of weekly work-related earnings or household income at any point in time between February 23, 2020 and April 1, 2021 due to total or partial unemployment, or inability or unavailability to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic or, became responsible for a majority of their household income due to death or disability of the head of household.
  • What other relief is out there?
    • Child Tax Credit for parents with dependent children: These advanced payments of the 2021 Child Tax Credit for mixed-status families were delayed and the IRS is working on fixing this problem. If you provided bank account information on your 2020 refund, you should get the credit via direct deposit. But some Reddit users have also reported receiving a check in the mail even though they provided their bank details. If you claimed the CTC on your 2020 tax return, double check that the banking and address information on file with the IRS is correct. The next payments will go out September 15.
    • Teachers in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Colorado, Texas and California are receiving bonuses
    • Child and Dependent Care Credit: This covers childcare costs up to $8,000. Dependents are children under 13 and any person who isn’t mentally or physically able to care for themselves. You can claim the credit when you file your Federal income tax return. In order to qualify you must:
      • Be below the income limits
      • Complete Form 2441 (each qualifying person must have an ITIN) and include the form when you file your Federal income tax return.
  • Does the infrastructure bill offer any type of aid?
    No—not for “human infrastructure” anyway. But the American Families Plan, introduced in April, includes subsidies for child care. If passed, the legislation would invest $200 billion into universal preschool and wage increases for child care workers (to $15 an hour).

Kaley LaQuea is an award–winning print and digital journalist who’s been creating content since 2008. She’s passionate about economic, environmental and social justice. She has an unhealthy relationship with caffeine and two cats: Totoro and Mononoke.