The pandemic is still a concern for many. There are a lot of uncertainties, ranging from the new normal of school for kids to the hesitancy surrounding vaccines. Nearly everything feels like it’s still up in the air.
For some, the pandemic continues to cause financial hardships that seem to be long-lasting. At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans have received three stimulus checks.
But many Americans are still in need of financial assistance, and they are asking, “Is there going to be a fourth stimulus check?” So, let’s find out!
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Nearly three million petitioners are calling for monthly payments
Public support for a fourth stimulus check remains strong. A petition from Change.org has been asking that payments of $2,000 per month be sent to struggling American families.
As of September 2021, the petition has garnered over 2.8 million signatures, all in support of the dispersal of additional funds. However, it does not appear as though any stimulus funds will be sent out this year.
Is there going to be a fourth stimulus check in 2021?
There have been repeated calls for a fourth stimulus check by not only the public but by some legislators as well. Although most businesses are back open and things are returning to normal, there are still many Americans who need additional support.
An estimated eleven million people were affected by the way unemployment benefits came to an end on September 6th. As of September 2021, there are no plans to send out a fourth stimulus check either.
However, there are still some assistance programs out there that can help families that are struggling in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s take a look at what kinds of additional assistance are available!
What additional aid is available?
In lieu of a fourth stimulus check, an enhanced child tax credit payment is being issued to eligible families. This additional financial aid opportunity started in July, and it is expected to remain in place until December 2021.
It is intended to help families in dire need. Similar to the initial stimulus checks, the IRS will distribute child tax credit checks in the same manner, though the credit is only available for families with children who are 17 years old or younger.
The expansion increased the original child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,600 per child under six years old. For children between the ages of six and seventeen, parents can expect to receive $3,000 per child.
To qualify for the enhanced credit, any and all single-filing taxpayers must not earn more than $75,000 annually, while joint filers cannot earn more than $150,000. Payments are reduced by $50 for every $1,000 of income accrued beyond these limits.
Households earning more than these pre-set income restrictions might still qualify for regular child tax credit monthly payments in the amount of $2,000 per child. You can verify your payments using the Child Tax Credit Update Portal. This portal will allow you to update your address and bank account information as well as confirm your enrollment status.
Eviction moratorium extension
As of August 26, 2021, the eviction moratorium extension is no longer in effect. The moratorium was overturned, meaning eviction protections that had been set in place at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic are no longer effective.
Some states have implemented bans on evictions, including California and New York. Be sure to check your local websites to see if your state is on the list of states that still have an eviction ban in place. If it is on the list, make sure you know when the eviction ban is set to end so you can be prepared.
Local charity and federal aid
Even though the federal government is slowly stepping back from providing financial assistance related to the COVID-19 pandemic, many local programs are still available. Look at the official website for the state in which you reside to learn more about ongoing pandemic-related assistance programs in your area.
Some states are even offering rental assistance, which could prove to be very helpful in the face of the recent overturn of the eviction moratorium. Thankfully, many counties and towns are stepping up to help those in need.
Contact your county website or visit your town hall to inquire about local charity programs. Some religious organizations and churches are also providing food, water, clothing, and supplies for free to people who need assistance.
Low-cost MoneyLion Credit Builder loan
Credit builder loans are financing products that come with fixed monthly payments and low-interest rates. Applying for these loans doesn’t require a credit check seeing as they are designed to help you boost your credit score.
They can also be a great way to access additional emergency cash with low interest. For example, MoneyLion’s Credit Builder loan offers up to $1,000 to those who need cash fast.
The principal is split into two installments, meaning you’ll receive a portion of your funds upfront and another portion after you make your payments. With the Credit Builder loan, you do need to show proof of direct deposits, but keep in mind that income such as unemployment, child support, and alimony payments can improve your chances of qualifying.
You can use your finds as a cash float to help you manage your bills by paying back what you owe over the next twelve months. MoneyLion’s Credit Builder loan also comes with the added bonus of helping you establish a solid credit history and rebuild your credit score along the way.
You’ll gain access to credit monitoring tools, progress tracking reports, and 0% APR cash advances up to $300. Over 50% of Credit Builder Loan members are able to raise their score by upwards of 60 points in just 60 days!
0% APR Instacash
MoneyLion Instacash is another great way to get assistance for those times where you are in a financial pinch. With Instacash, you can get up to $250 in cash advances at any point in time, all with no interest. This is a great way to cover the costs of food, bills, and even unexpected expenses.
Like MoneyLion’s Credit Builder loan, a direct deposit is required before you can access Instacash, but again, income includes unemployment payments and child support as well as alimony. Once you set up your direct deposits, you can obtain a cash advance in the amount of at least $50.
As vaccinations become more prevalent and lockdown orders start easing up, more and more businesses are reopening. In fact, many businesses are actually struggling to find employees.
Businesses like Amazon and McDonald’s are offering sign-on bonuses as incentives to attract applicants so that they can hire employees. But that’s not all. Some companies have also announced benefits that include tuition assistance and hybrid work options to increase their applicant pools and fill their open positions.
Now more than ever, it’s easy to apply for jobs and look for employment opportunities. It is also important to note that as vaccinations become more prevalent, many employers are requiring employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Some companies, like Walmart, Delta Airlines, and Google, are even requiring their employees to be vaccinated before they return to work. A lot of employers are also making exceptions for certain medical conditions and providing options for increased testing for employees who are not vaccinated.
Before you apply for an available position, check out the website of the company at hand to read the details of their company’s vaccination mandates. According to a Momentive Small Business survey, one-third of small businesses have been unable to fill their open job positions for the past three months.
Businesses also reported having difficulty finding qualified employees who have the skills required for the job openings. As such, it’s worth checking out job openings in your area or networking with former colleagues about possible employment opportunities.
It’s also a great time to update your resume and sharpen your professional skill sets. Start by researching job opportunities in your area and going through the list of requirements for the job role that you’re interested in filling.
There are numerous professional courses on LinkedIn and Coursera that can help you brush up your resume. Best of all, these courses are often either inexpensive or free! The U.S. Department of Labor even provides training programs for employees that have been laid off.
States offering a fourth stimulus checks or retention bonuses
California has a unique payout for residents called the Golden State Stimulus. If you earn between $30,000 and $75,000 per year, you could receive a check for up to $600. In order to qualify, you must file your taxes by October 15, 2021. Payments are expected to be issued in September via direct deposits and paper checks.
In the state of Colorado, you can receive a check for $375 if you received at least one unemployment payment during the peak of lockdown. This means that if you received unemployment benefits while being unemployed at some point between March 15, 2020, and October 24, 2020, then the state might send you additional funds.
Florida is issuing checks for $1,000 to qualified teachers and administrators as a retention bonus. The details about qualifications for the additional funds are still being developed as of September 2021. First responders are also expected to receive a one-time payment up to $1,000.
Similar to Florida, Georgia is offering a $1,000 retention bonus to full-time teachers and administrators, with a $500 bonus expected to be sent out to part-time employees. Notably, this additional payment is available to all teachers and administrators.
Maryland seems to have one of the most generous state stimulus checks programs for their residents. All state and local taxes on unemployment benefits have been repealed as of September.
This means that residents are no longer being taxed on unemployment benefits just like the stimulus checks weren’t taxed. This is beneficial for Maryland residents because it means more money. Additional stimulus payments of $300 for individuals and $500 for families are expected to be received by those who filed for the Earned Income Credit.
At the beginning of 2021, the Michigan Classroom Heroes grant began issuing payments of up to $500 to teachers and other staff members. This payment was considered to be hazard pay for essential workers. Full-time teachers received a payment of $500 while other staff members received $250 payments.
New Mexico is offering a one-time payment of $750 to low-income individuals who did not receive federal stimulus payments.
New York is offering funds to undocumented workers who lost their income streams during the pandemic and were excluded from receiving other benefits. The Excluded Workers Fund will issue a one-time payment of up to $15,600 in benefits. There are some qualifications that must be met in order for undocumented workers to qualify, so make sure you check your local government for more details.
Tennessee is offering hazard pay, which is expected to be dispersed by the end of 2021. What was initially expected to be a 2% pay increase is now a one-time payment of $1,000 for full-time teachers and $400 for part-time teachers.
Though there will not be any statewide relief, some Texas districts are providing additional funds to their residents. For instance, Fort Worth and Arlington announced a 4% pay increase for their employees. Similarly, Denton and Mansfield are offering teachers a 2% pay increase.
Additionally, Denton employees are receiving a retention bonus of $500. Finally, in the Irving Independent School District, staff members who return to in-person learning this school year are expected to receive an additional $500 for working amid the pandemic, as long as they work at least twenty hours per week. The funds were paid out in August as part of the Education Relief fund.
Other options worth exploring
So, will there be a fourth stimulus check? Not in the traditional sense, but as with most circumstances during the pandemic, this information is ever-changing. Many states have set up their own state stimulus check or funding opportunities for those who did not receive federal funding or need further financial assistance.
We are still facing uncertain times, but you can manage some of the uncertainty by setting up ways to stay on top of your finances. One way MoneyLion can help is through its Safety Net tool.
Safety Net allows you to see all of your funds in one place, making it easier to plan accordingly. You can even get direct deposits up to two days early! This is a great way to cover unexpected expenses or pay bills on time.
Though these times are uncertain, MoneyLion has options to help you feel a little more secure.
How much is the fourth stimulus check?
There won’t be a fourth stimulus check. However, eligible recipients can receive the Child Tax Payments, up to $3,000 or $3,600 per child depending on their age
Where’s my third stimulus check?
You should have already received your third stimulus check. If you haven’t, check with your tax preparer or view your payment status here.
When does unemployment end?
It depends. Each state has different expiration dates in place regarding the end of COVID assistance and unemployment. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation of FPUC is set to end in September 2021. You can read more about individual states and programs here. If you’re self-employed and still struggling, there are many programs that have been created over the last year that can help you.