Although a fourth stimulus check has not yet manifested, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has sparked calls for its initiation in the United States, with many hoping for some financial support via a series of programs. The stimulus checks from the federal government may have been brought to an end, but state governments have introduced a series of incentives for financial support, and our live blog this Christmas Day, December 25, outlines our articles and guides on how to claim it.
The virus, and the measures imposed on the back of it, continues to cause economic issues across the US and the rest of the world, leading governments to offer financial payments that assist individuals and families in difficult times. There are some new stimulus checks, such as the 6,300 dollar check to students in Atlanta, while we outline below the other benefits, as well as the upcoming changes to COLA and Medicare.
Child Tax Credit Updates – Child Stimulus
Most eligible families will be able to receive half of their 2021 child tax credit money in advance due to changes in 2021 to the US Child Tax Credit system. This money is due to come in prior to the other half of the sum that will arrive in 2022 during tax season, with each of these monthly payments coming on the 15th day of the month. So, another round of payments were due on December 15.
Either way, a check on some of the finer aspects of the Child Tax Credit could help you get up to speed on where you stand on the matter.
Child Tax Credit highlights
Following some confusion over the payment of Child Tax Credit, the White House and Treasury Department have worked together with Code for America to launch a new online website through which Americans can apply for the expanded child tax credit system.
Those applying would have had to have done so by October 15, which is when the fourth check should start to be sent out. Below, you will be able to see the latest updates on the Child Tax Credit scheme that is helping US families.
IRS Tax Refunds
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continues to roll out various COVID-19 relief initiatives for those who have taken a hit amid the pandemic, which will come as welcome respite for so many families.
Thankfully, the unemployment refunds touted by the US government are expected to reach the public in the coming days, and the links below should clarify some of the finer details concerning the IRS Tax Refunds.
IRS Tax Refunds highlights
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and limited resources, the IRS was forced to delay 2020 tax returns, especially those that need to be reviewed.
Individual delays on income tax refund could be down to factors such as errors in filling out said documents, incomplete information, or the need for further review from the relevant departments. Hopefully the list below sheds light on the details in this aspect.
4th Stimulus Checks
Even though a fourth stimulus check from federal funds is unlikely to arrive, state governments up and down the country are coming up with different ways to offer relief to their citizens. The aid handed out varies from state to state, which is why the links below are there to help you find out what is the current situation in each region, and when aid is expected to arrive.
4th Stimulus Check highlights
Forms of aid provided to US families can vary based on the decision of each state. You can stay updated on what the latest news is concerning these payments and what you might be entitled to with the links below.
As mentioned previously, fourth stimulus checks may not be going ahead on a federal level, but different state governments could well be lending a helping hand in some shape or form.
Medicare is the US health department’s federal health insurance program that serves citizens who are 65 years of age or above, younger people with disabilities and people with end-stage renal disease. In order to sign up, you can to any doctor or healthcare provider that is enrolled in Medicare.
For those covered by the program, there is additional help that you could be entitled to, with links provided by below that make clear whether you indeed stand to benefit from various incentives.
Unemployment Benefits – December 2021
Federal unemployment benefits expired as of September 6, 2021, and other states decided to put an end to the benefits earlier than previously quoted, but others have found a solution through the offering of an unemployment benefit extension.
Unemployment Benefits highlights
Amid the crisis, Congress is being urged by certain sections of US politics to come to the rescue of the citizens who’ve had their unemployment benefits cut, which has affected more than 9.3 million people. Accurate and clear information is pivotal for US citizens to get an understanding of what they’re entitled to, which is why we have provided various updates on the situation across the most important areas of the relief packages.
Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA)
Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) payments form part of the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits paid to approximately 70 million Americans. The amount received by eligible citizens stands to increase by 5.9 percent in 2022, while increased payments to approximately eight million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30.
Cost-of-Living Adjustment highlights
With Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) payments proving a valuable boost amid this economic crisis brought upon by COVID-19, citizens would be advised to check the necessary government portals so that they are getting the amount that they deserve based on their most recently updated personal information.
Other US Benefits
One other federal benefits program to keep an eye on is the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. With this, adults and children with a disability or resources below certain thresholds can receive monthly payments in order to help meet basic needs for food, clothing and shelter.
US Benefits highlights
Another benefits program currently helping American families to collect some more money is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is a federal nutrition program, also sometimes referred to as food stamps, and helps families to pay for healthy food, which tends to cost more. In some states, such as New York, these benefits are rising in October 2021 from a maximum of 680 dollars to 835 dollars.