Fourth stimulus check latest updates – Biden says Americans will lose unemployment benefits if they turn down jobs
PRESIDENT Joe Biden has warned that anyone receiving unemployment who is offered a “reasonable job” must take it or face losing their benefit payments.
Biden issued the warning in a speech from the White House on Monday, shortly after releasing a disappointing government report that found the US economy added just 260,000 jobs in April.
That figure fell well below the more than million new jobs that had been projected.
Republican critics have said expanded unemployment benefits passed under Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan are to blame, claiming American’s can now earn more by staying at home rather than working.
Biden rubbished those claims in his address, insisting that “Americans want to work.”
But for those attempting to game the system, the president said there will be consequences.
“We’re going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment, who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits,” Biden said.
The president continued there are a “few Covid-19 exceptions” to the rule “so that nobody is forced to choose between their basic safety and a paycheck, but otherwise, that’s the law.”
“I know there’s been a lot of discussion since Friday, since Friday’s report, that people are being paid to stay home rather than go to work. Well, we don’t see much evidence of that,” he added.
“I think the people [who] claim Americans won’t work, even if they find a good and fair opportunity, underestimate the American people.”
Read our stimulus live blog for the latest on Covid relief money…
RESTAURANTS TO RECEIVE RELIEF PAYMENTS
On Monday, President Joe Biden said thousands of restaurants will receive relief payments – but it was unclear if this was a lead-in for a fourth stimulus check.
“Today, we’re sending out the first relief checks to 16,000 hard-hit restaurants with help for many more to follow,” Biden said.
“A lot more people are going to be employed.”
PAYMENTS ARE ‘NOT FREE’
A fourth stimulus check is up to Congress, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, adding that the payments were “not free.”
“We’ll see what members of Congress propose,” Psaki said last week when asked about the possibility of a fourth stimulus check.
She then added the payments “were not free.”
Psaki’s comments come as the IRS continues to send out additional weekly stimulus checks as part of the third round of relief payments to people who have not yet received their payments.
With such talk of Biden’s American Rescue Plan picking up steam, many Americans are wondering if they would get a fourth check soon.
DO NOT CALL COPS OVER MISSING CHECKS, IRS WARNS
The IRS is urging those who still have yet to receive their stimulus checks to hold off on calling the agency considering their phone operators wouldn’t be able to give any more information that isn’t already available online.
The IRS website states: “Our phone assistors don’t have information beyond what’s available on IRS.gov.”
Americans should check the IRS Get My Payment tool – especially if you need to find out where your cash is.
WATCH: JEN PSAKI SAYS 4TH ROUND OF CHECKS IS UP TO CONGRESS
SOME NEW YORKERS MAY NEED TO PAY BACK EXTRA UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
A “small portion” of New Yorkers received duplicate payments as employees rushed to send them as quickly as possible, the New York State Department of Labor announced.
But now those who received excess money in April and May 2020 must return the extra cash as “under federal law, NYS DOL is required to recover any overpaid funds,” the department tweeted.
The number of people who could potentially be left out of pocket was not immediately clear, but a Labor Department spokesman confirmed the overpayment was part of the extra $600 government handout given early last year.
Around 40 million Americans received unemployment benefits last year, a package that was boosted by Covid relief bills and executive orders.
Those affected will be notified by letter – which will also include instructions on how to request an appeal or a waiver for authorities to forgive the balance.
PRESSURE MOUNTS FOR BIDEN TO PASS CHECK BILL
Joe Biden is under pressure to pass a $2,000 monthly stimulus check after more than 75 lawmakers signed a letter urging for more direct relief to Americans.
The politicians believe that the one-time $1,400 stimulus check, provided by President Biden, is not enough for those struggling during the pandemic.
However, the president does not appear to back recurring payments, and there are not enough members of Congress that would vote to pass such a bill.
But, Congress could still vote to add additional stimulus checks into any upcoming legislation, such as the infrastructure package.
MORE THAN 1M CHECKS NOT CASHED IN OR RETURNED
The IRS is currently sitting on roughly $2.1 billion in payments that were never accepted by their intended recipients.
Of the 164 million payments that were sent out in the first round of stimulus following the passage of the America Rescue Plan in March, about 1.25 million have never been cashed or were returned or paid back to the US Treasury.
Pennsylvanians, Vermonters, Montanans and Michiganders—three blue states and one red—were the most likely to leave their money on the table, Newsweek reported.
Arizonans and Texans were the least likely to pass up the stimulus payments, according to the outlet.
‘GIVE CHECKS TO YOUNG PEOPLE WHO GET JAB’, SAYS GOV
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is planning to give young people in his state money to get the Covid-19 vaccine, saying the move is “patriotic.”
The state will give residents between the ages of 16 and 35 a $100 savings bond after Justice said they had “hit a wall” when it came to vaccination efforts.
The reason we hit a wall is you’ve got 16 to 35-year-olds that are reluctant, you’ve got the Johnson & Johnson situation, and then, to be perfectly honest, you’ve got some hard-headed people,” Justice told Yahoo! Finance last week.
The governor said that the goal is to incentivize young people who may feel that they do not need the vaccine to help the state reach the goal of vaccinating 70 percent of its population.
SENATORS MULL INCLUDING AUTOMATIC CHECKS IN PLAN
White House senators are weighing in on launching automatic relief to prepare for future recessions caused by public crises.
The Economic Security Projects proposed automatic stabilizers to 50 members from the Senate Finance Committee, according to Newsweek.
Those stabilizers would connect future unemployment payments and stimulus checks to the status of the economy.
According to the organization’s plan, this means that when the unemployment rate is high, relief payments would be sent out broadly but when that rate drops, those payments would be narrowed and delivered to low-income families.
“They understand that this is smart policy and good politics,” Adam Ruben, director of the Economic Security Project, told Newsweek. “Putting in place these kinds of triggers would smooth out the recovery and no one is left at the mercy of Washington gridlock in future recessions.”
FOUR CHECK IN DOUBT AS CASH DRIES UP
The fight for a fourth round of stimulus checks looks tougher than ever as cash support from the government dries up.
Plans for another lot of payments to be made to hard-hit Americans have been thrown into question as money looks to be running out.
Payments totaling more than $2billion hit bank accounts across the US last week as the IRS sent out a further 1.1million payments as part of Joe Biden’s Covid relief package.
But, to date, that’s the smallest amount handed out since the third round of checks started going out on March 12.
As the cash dwindles it is further casting doubt over the likelihood of a fourth round happening to help cash-strapped Americans.
CALLS FOR MORE DIRECT PAYMENTS TO FAMILIES FEELING THE PINCH
Americans could be set to get another $1,400 stimulus check after a study revealed families hampered by the coronavirus pandemic need more help.
The Economic Security Project is calling for further direct payments to be made to aid those struggling financially due to the ongoing impacts of Covid.
Most respondents to a survey carried out by Bankrate said the money from the third round of stimulus checks would last less than three months, if that.
It also revealed that the majority of people plan to use the cash on monthly expenses, day-to-day essentials and paying off debts.
“We need at least one more check.” Adam Ruben, campaign director at the Economic Security Project (ESP), told CNBC.
HOW TO GET MORE CASH FROM BIDEN’S 2021 RELIEF BILLS
Joe Biden’s relief packages may provide Americans with extra aid in the form of additional stimulus checks and tuition-free college.
As Biden’s relief plans make their way through Congress, Americans could receive another $3 trillion in relief through job creation, free childcare, and tuition-free education.
The American Jobs Plan would use $2 trillion to improve roads and transportation, expand affordable housing, and distribute high-speed broadband to areas in need.
Meanwhile, the American Families Plan would provide support in the form of child tax credits, federally funded education and childcare, and paid family and medical leave.
Between the two relief packages and Biden’s other proposals, Americans may be eligible for several different forms of relief.
LATEST ROUND OF STIMULUS INCLUDES ‘PLUS UP’ PAYMENTS
A new batch of payments has been sent out to Americans, bringing the total number of stimulus checks issued up to around 165 million – or $388 billion.
This marks the ninth round of payments since the $1,400 stimulus checks were signed into law by President Joe Biden in March.
The new batch included more than 960,000 payments representing more than $1.8 billion.
The payments included about 460,000 “plus-up” payments worth more than $800 million to people who were due additional money once the IRS processed their 2020 tax returns.
PARENTS CAN CLAW BACK THOUSANDS IN CHILDCARE EXPENSES
Struggling parents should be expecting their $1,400 stimulus checks as the IRS has released its latest batch.
But it is possible to get some extra cash by claiming $16,000 back in childcare expenses.
Parents are most likely eligible to receive the third stimulus check for up to $1,400 and the child tax credit for qualified dependents.
Additionally, they can claim up to $16,000 in tax credits for any childcare expenses this year.
It could be expenses paid for daycare, nannies, camp and even transportation costs.
FOURTH & FIFTH CHECKS COULD KEEP MILLIONS OUT OF POVERTY
A report by the Economic Security Project determined two additional stimulus checks will keep more than 12 million people out of poverty.
“Evidence from the last year shows stimulus checks to be the fastest and most impactful investments helping Americans get through this crisis, lifting more people out of poverty than any other single policy,” it read.
The project then went on to call for more rounds of stimulus checks to help lift an additional 12million Americans out of poverty.
The third $1,400 stimulus payment reportedly helped 16million Americans out of poverty.
The IRS began to disburse the fifth batch of relief payments on April 9 that included the $1,400 stimulus checks and 700,000 plus-up payments worth a total of $1.2billion.
HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE SIGNED A PETITION FOR MORE CASH?
As of this week, a Change.org petition for monthly recurring checks of $2,000 has racked up over two million signatures and appeared on Change.org’stthe top 10 petitions that changed 2020.
The petition was started by Denver, Colorado-based restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin last year.
Support for the proposal has continued to grow since January, when Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and 55 other Democratic legislators stressed the need for recurring payments in a letter to President Biden.
“Recurring payments would provide a long-term lifeline to struggling Americans for the duration of this deadly pandemic,” the letter read.
AMERICANS DEMAND FOURTH CHECK AFTER GAS SHORTAGE
Americans are demanding a fourth stimulus check after the Colonial Pipeline hack.
Following the gas shortage, some people have asked for more cash due to the inconvenience and potential hike in prices.
Meanwhile, another echoed the sentiments, demanding: “Can we expect a third stimulus check for gas money$$$??”
MORE CASH COULD ARRIVE IN DIFFERENT FORMS
More stimulus cash could arrive in four different forms in President Joe Biden’s American Families Plan.
Many people are hoping that the president will send another $1,400. However, if this is not the case, there are four other ways in which Americans may benefit financially from Biden’s American Families Plan.
One way in which Americans could benefit, is if the president agrees to send out recurring payments to individuals. Another way is by making the child tax credit raise permanent – meaning that lower-income families will receive periodic payments.
Some have asked for a minimum wage hike to be put into fruition – which currently stands at $7.25 per hour.
The final way that Americans could financially benefit is if federal unemployment payments are renewed beyond September.
AMERICANS COULD STILL BE OWED CASH FROM FIRST TWO ROUNDS
Americans could still be owed extra cash from their first two rounds of stimulus checks.
But you only have just days to submit your claim as Tax Day 2021 falls on May 17.
Americans wanting to do this will have to complete a Recovery Rebate Credit form and the stimulus money will be added to any rebate you are due.
HOW TO TRACK YOUR PAYMENT IF YOU’RE STILL WAITING
An IRS tool can help Americans to track their stimulus check if the relief cash still hasn’t arrived.
The Get My Payment tool can help recipients find out when their check is scheduled to be sent.
It also tracks if the Covid cash is already on the way.
Those who haven’t received their first or second stimulus check can claim them as a tax credit using the Recovery Rebate Credit.
UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS CAN RECEIVE AID THANKS TO BIDEN TRUMP-RULE REVERSAL
Undocumented students and others were previously barred under Trump from receiving federal relief grants that were meant to help pay for expenses like food, housing and child care during the pandemic.
However, on Tuesday, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona finalized legislation that allows colleges to distribute $36 billion in federal relief to all students, regardless of their immigration status.
“The pandemic didn’t discriminate which students got Covid, so the final rule does allow for all students,” Cardona told reporters while unveiling the policy change.
He added that the goal of the measure is to “make sure that all students have an opportunity to have access to the funds to help them get back on track.”
The tens of billions in federal relief will be distributed as part of the $1.9 trillion America Rescue Plan that Biden signed into law back in March.
AMERICANS WHO LIVE OUTSIDE US SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED STIMULUS CHECKS
For Americans such as people who are Social Security (SS) recipients and SS beneficiaries without a US address, stimulus checks were due to be mailed out beginning April 9 and April 23.
The Internal Revenue Service sent out 600,000 payments to this group in late April.
The IRS only sent the checks to those who filed a 2020 or 2019 tax return, and to people who used the IRS’ Non-Filer tool.
You can keep track of the status of your payment is with the Get My Payment tool on the IRS’ website.
CALLS FOR $1K CHECKS FOR KIDS UNTIL PANDEMIC ENDS
Millions of Americans have signed petitions urging President Joe Biden to introduce monthly stimulus checks worth up to $2,000 for adults and $1,000 for kids.
“I’m calling on Congress to support families with a $2,000 payment for adults and a $1,000 payment for kids immediately, and continuing regular checks for the duration of the crisis,” she wrote.
The petition currently has over 2 million signatures.
WHAT ARE SUPPLEMENTAL STIMULUS PAYMENTS? SOME AMERICANS SHOULD EXPECT THEM
Some “plus-up” and supplemental stimulus payments are still going out —last batch included more than five hundred seventy thousand of them and more are expected soon.
But what exactly are these supplemental payments?
The IRS has stated that these supplemental funds are “for people who earlier in March received payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns.”
GOLDEN STATE EXTENDS STIMULUS PLAN
Golden State stimulus checks will be expanded under the proposals meaning two-thirds of Californians will be eligible to receive increased payments of $600.
Households making up to $75,000 with at least one child can expect to receive an extra $500.