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Friday, January 27, 2023

Stimulus Checks Are Going Out In Regular Batches But Situation Remains Grim

Even as the IRS continues to send regular stimulus checks, including follow-up checks, regularly in batches, millions of Americans continue to struggle to make ends meet. The follow-up or plus-up payments are supplementary payments to people who did not receive the full amount of their third stimulus payment in the first batch.

When the third round of stimulus checks was first sent out starting the second week of March, people whose payment came in through the postal service had to wait 4 to 6 weeks to get their paper checks or debit cards. Others had their payments delayed as the IRS sent payment first to Americans who had filed their tax returns for 2019 and 2020.

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This group of people had all their details with the IRS, and they could quickly calculate the correct amount and transfer it through the bank or other financial entities.

But non-filers automatically ended up at the end of the line and had to wait their turn.

Stimulus Check Go Out To Non-Filers In The Latest Batch Of Payments

Close to 900,000 of the 2.3M payments sent out in the latest batch went out to those who have never had to file their income tax. And the IRS did not have the information of such people in their records.

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Another big chunk of 1.1 million payments was follow-up or plus-up checks. These are second checks that are top-up payments as the IRS did not send the full amount of the third stimulus check with the first batch of payments. There were several reasons for the short payment.

Tax filers who had not filed their 2020 income tax returns during the initial payment of the tried stimulus check were paid based on the previous return of 2019.

And if they suffered a drop in income in 2020, which was common for many due to the economic downturn, they were eligible for a bigger payment.

Should We Expect A 4th Stimulus Check?

With states cutting unemployment benefits, a quarter of the unemployed will lose this invaluable benefit. And with unemployment levels still at a high of 6.1% against the pre-pandemic level of 3.5%, things are still pretty grim.

And this has led many influential Democratic lawmakers to demand continuous stimulus payments till things get back to normal. Most Americans have already spent their third stimulus amount and with the recession still on, it is going to be a grim battle for survival if there are no further stimulus checks soon.

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