With federal stimulus checks on hold for more than a year, it was left to states and other local bodies such as cities to provide residents with financial support to offset the record inflation that has severely affected prices.
From groceries to gasoline, every product conceivable has been affected by the rise in prices. The same effect has been seen in the price of services and rent. Over the past year, half the states in the US have moved in with financial relief that has to some extent provided relief.
But the assistance from the states has not been up to the level provided by the federal government. This has raised the immediate need for a fourth stimulus check. But the gridlock in federal politics has nixed any chances of the Biden administration moving ahead with a fourth stimulus check for now.
Even the enhanced Child Tax Credit stimulus check has been put on the back burner for now. The enhanced version of the CTC stimulus check was the most successful of the schemes to emerge during the pandemic.
While the original amount of $2,000 per child has been around for some years now, the amount was generously increased to between $3,000 and $3,600 depending on the age of the beneficiary. Other changes made to the enhanced version of this immensely successful stimulus check included the increase of the age from 17 to 18 years maximum for getting the payment.
Further, for the first time, the CTC stimulus checks went out to families which did not normally pay any tax due to their low income. The 2021 CTC stimulus check went out to parents who had filed a 2019 or 2020 federal income tax return and claimed the Child ax Credit on the return form. It was also given to families and individuals who entered their information in 2020 to receive the stimulus check (Economic Impact Payment) in the list of non-filers.
The claimants also should have lived in a main home in America for over half a year, that is in any of the fifty states and the Dist. Of Columbia. They could also claim the payment if they had filed a joint return with a spouse who has had a main home in America for at least 6 months.
The child of the claiming parents must be under eighteen years by the end of 2021 and must also have a valid Social Security number. The child should also earn less than the parents.
Non-Tax Filer Families Eligible For The Enhanced CTC Stimulus Check
One of the most significant changes brought about in the enhanced version of the Child Tax Credit stimulus check was that on-tax filer families with children also could sign up for the monthly payments.
That was a huge leg up for families that do not normally file their taxes but have children who are eligible for the new enhanced Child Tax Credit.
For the first time such families, who were denied the Child Tax Credit payments for all these years were able to receive the stimulus checks. All they had to do was sent their information directly to the IRS without filing a tax return.
This ensures that they received their monthly payments that started in the middle of July 2021.
Experts and economists hailed the IRS’s decision to introduce an option for non-filers to claim the Child Tax Credit stimulus check.
Families and individuals who traditionally do not file taxes usually have very low incomes and are just the group that the legislation hoped to assist with monthly payments through the credits. And these families were in danger of being swept away.
The second portal is to help families who have filed their 2019 or 2020 income tax returns. This proved important for families that have more eligible children as of 2021. It is also helpful for families with a change in marital status or a significant drop in income.
Al such changes could mean that they will see them getting larger monthly stimulus checks through the CTC.
States began to use their share of the 200 billion dollars that was sanctioned by the federal government as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. This act was signed by President Biden immediately after he assumed power in January 2021. The money was given towards the economic recovery of the states from the COVID-19 pandemic.
States had until the end of 2021 to disburse the amount. Governors in many of these states began doling out cash in 2022 when prices began to rise at an unrelenting pace right from the last quarter of 2021.
Though the Republicans blamed the third stimulus check for being solely responsible for the record inflation, experts believe that there were forces at work that were outside the control of the US administration.
While the war in Europe was responsible to a great extent for the mess, there was also the issue of the breakdown in the supply chain. Goods across the world were caught up for lack of transport facilities.
This greatly hampered production schedules and created a temporary shortage of goods that jacked up prices.
This was especially true of large products like cars that are dependent on parts from across the world to complete their production schedule.
Republicans Support A Watered-Down Version Of The CTC Stimulus Check
While millions of families with children are dependent on CTC payments of up to $3,600 a child. While the Republicans were primarily responsible for scuttling the move, they realized the enormous benefits of the scheme and proposed backing the monthly payments but with new requirements.
Their proposal came after the expiration of the original CTC stimulus check that gave immense benefits to families with children.
Under the new Family Security Act 2.0, the Republicans proposed a development that showed that overwhelming support remains for strengthening the present credit available to low-income families, families that are not required to file returns in the first place due to their low income.
But it does not eliminate the possibility that children in families with little or no income may receive a partial CTC stimulus check and at times no amount at all. Further, a large cut to the Earned Income Tax Credit and other offsets could place millions of families with children in a worse spot.