You could have more than 1 stimulus check. Here's how you may get 3 payments
The third stimulus check is just one of three ways you and your family could get direct payments from the government over the next year. Here's every way you benefit.
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Clifford is a managing editor at CNET, where he leads How-To coverage. He spent a handful of years at Peachpit Press, editing books on everything from the first iPhone to Python. He also worked at a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWEEK and MacUser. Unrelated, he roots for the Oakland A's.
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ExpertisePersonal Finance: Social Security and taxes
The IRS continues to send millions of stimulus checks to eligible individuals and families. The latest wave is going out to 4 million Americans, the IRS said. That $1,400 amount, however, is just one piece of aid the federal government is making to people struggling through the pandemic.
The $1,400 stimulus check has already gone out to tens of millions of Americans, with more batches of payments going out over the coming weeks -- you can track the status of your payment. Under new eligibility rules, some folks who qualified for the first two payments may not make the cut for the third. A hard ceiling on income, designed to exclude higher earners from getting a check, comes with a rule change regarding the use of dependents in the stimulus check formula. Check out our stimulus payment calculator to see how the income cap affects you.
The new legislation gives the IRS a deadline of Dec. 31 to finish sending the stimulus checks.
The plan also removes a provision that you have to make $2,500 a year to receive the credit and makes the credits fully refundable. In addition, it expands tax credits for one year to help cover the cost of child care. Families could get back as a tax credit as much as half their spending on child care for children under age 13, up to $4,000 for a single child and $8,000 for two or more children.
What's going on with the student loan debt forgiveness?
In March, President Joe Biden's administration approved a $1 billion loan forgiveness for students who were defrauded by their colleges, or if their school shut down. The change is projected to affect 73,000 people.
Though forgiving student loan debt has been part of the discussion since January, Senate Democrats and the president have different dollar figures in mind for how much to cancel. Biden on Feb. 16 said he supports canceling $10,000 in student debt per borrower and extending the pause on student loan repayment. His figure is at odds with a Senate Democrat proposal, however, that calls for canceling up to $50,000 in student debt per borrower.
"I do think that, in this moment of economic pain and strain, that we should be eliminating interest on the debts that are accumulated, No. 1. And No. 2, I'm prepared to write off the $10,000 debt, but not $50,000," Biden said. While the House and Senate versions of the bill don't forgive student debt, the legislation includes a provision that will make tax-free any forgiven student loan, according to The New York Times.
What about money for coronavirus vaccine distribution?
More than 161 million vaccine doses have so far been administered in the US -- and over 207 million distributed. More than a month early, the country reached Biden's goal of 100 million jabs during the first 100 days of his administration (April 30 marks his 100th day in office), with a new goal of 200 million shots in the first 100 days.
More funding to help reopen schools during the pandemic
Getting students back in physical classrooms is a critical piece of the economic recovery. The new law works to return students to schools by having a majority of kindergarten to eighth-grade classrooms safely reopen in the first 100 days of the administration.
More money for state, local and tribal governments
Since the fall, economists have pushed for Congress to provide funding for state and local public jobs. "The case for additional aid is strong because the downside risk of doing nothing is quite real," the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, said at the end of last year. "The fact that over 1 million state and local government workers have lost their jobs is a sign that fiscal distress has had real consequences." In addition to state and local funding, the law provides funds for food and water assistance and food stamps.
Senate Democrats jettisoned a provision in the relief bill to boost the minimum wage, after the Senate parliamentarian, who determines which items can and can't be included in the bill under a technique known as budget reconciliation, determined that the provision fell outside of guidelines. Proponents will look to include the $15 hourly rate in another bill.
"If any Senator believes this is the last time they will cast a vote on whether or not to give a raise to 32 million Americans, they are sorely mistaken," Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted March 5. "We're going to keep bringing it up, and we're going to get it done because it is what the American people demand and need."