Despite our best efforts, the American economy took yet another blow in the second quarter of 2021 with the spread of the coronavirus’ delta variant. However, thanks to the Federal government’s comprehensive vaccination program, millions of Americans were spared from serious hospitalization and health concerns.
But this comes at a price: despite the country logging around 100,000 coronavirus cases daily, death rates and hospitalization rates are technically going down, the government is no longer extending COVID-19 relief measures, with the last of these measures expiring at the start of October 2021.
This means that a Fourth stimulus check — a pipe dream to begin with anyway — is not going to happen, at least, not this year and not with current Federal government plans.
But hope is not lost: Washington will still give out financial assistance (albeit to a much narrower group), whereas other households can still find other ways to cover their debts and find some relief despite aid running out.
No Fourth Stimulus Checks: The End of COVID-19 Core Relief Measures
In March of 2021, the Federal government signed a whopping $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue package, with stimulus checks amounting to around $1,400 being paid out directly to households, the third and final stimulus check that the government provided.
However, eight months later, and the Federal government has no plans to extend many of its core relief measures under their overall COVID rescue plan.
Here are the emergency assistance programs that are ending or have ended:
Boosted Benefits for the Unemployed
President Biden’s American Rescue Plan initially granted an extra $300 a week to any and all people receiving unemployment checks. However, those extra payouts ended on Labor Day, Sept.6, with almost 30 states choosing to end federal pandemic benefits much earlier.
Gig workers and independent contractors also saw their unemployment checks stop on the same day. The emergency extension, which gave jobless Americans an extra 13 weeks of benefits, also ended.
In total, around 7.5 million people lost unemployment benefits on Sept.6, 2021
Health Insurance Assistance
One of the core COVID-19 relief measures millions of people relied on was the Federal government’s payment of 100% of the health insurance of laid-off workers who managed to keep their health coverage under COBRA. However, this benefit ended on Sept. 30.
Inflated Child Tax Credit
Starting July 15 of 2021, the Federal government is sending monthly family stimulus checks to households with children. This child tax credit can see families being paid up to $1,800 for every child under the age of 6 and $1,500 for every child between 6 and 17, depending on income.
This payment scheme, however, is only set to last until Dec.15; Democrats in Congress, however, are fighting to keep the larger child credit going.
Protection from Eviction
Scheduled to run until Oct. 3, the United States Supreme Court decided to end the nationwide eviction ban early, with eviction protection ending in September 2021. However, many local governments still have moratoriums on evictions, although these protections may end soon as well.
No Fourth Stimulus Check? No Problem: Here are Other Relief Programs
Although a fourth stimulus check is unlikely to happen, there are still various relief programs and systems in place that people can rely on, including:
The previous two stimulus packages provided a $47 billion in budget for rent relief and a large portion of this is still available and being rolled out slowly, with the Biden administration making payouts quicker by cutting most of the red tape.
State-issued Stimulus Checks
10 states are offering stimulus checks to their citizens, with California mailing residents $500 and up to $1000 in stimulus payments.
There are stimulus checks for certain food industry workers, with the Federal government reserving $700 million for their relief. Meanwhile, some states are providing their teachers bonuses that the state government has taken from their COVID relief budgets.
Financial Support for New Parents
New parents who gave birth in 2021 are eligible for larger child tax credits, with the government paying up to $3,600 per child. Meanwhile, babies born in 2021 are eligible for $1,400 stimulus payments. If you were unable to file for it before, don’t worry: just let the government know about your new dependent before the 2022 tax season and the IRS will credit the full amount (plus any missed stimulus checks) on your next filing.
Is There Really No Hope for a Fourth Stimulus Check?
With COVID Delta cases rising, many are hoping that the government will continue its emergency relief programs and come up with a Fourth stimulus checks. Various online petitions are calling for at least $2,000 a month payout for every American adult, with an extra $1,000 per child, until the end of the COVID pandemic.
However, Congress is still busy trying to raise the national debt ceiling, with Democrats hoping for a $3.5 trillion budget, and a joint Republican-Democrat infrastructure spending bill.
Unfortunately, neither of these spending plans involve a fourth stimulus checks. For now, follow minimum safety protocols, keep a close eye on your finances, and try to find alternative sources of income.