Even as the flow of state stimulus checks comes down to a trickle, some states and local governments have decided to continue supporting their residents. Even as the American Rescue Plan Act wound up by the third quarter of 2021, Americans face another round of economic hardship while the pandemic raged on.
The Rescue Plan was signed by President Biden in March 2021 within weeks of coming to power. The massive $1.9 trillion set in motion a wide range of new measures. This ranged from unemployment benefits to the enhancement of the child tax credit stimulus check.
The Rescue Plan unlike other aid measures does not just confine itself primarily to economic impact payments. It set aside a large part of the fund for assisting businesses, hospitals, and educational institutions. There was money set aside for frontline workers, child assistance, and money for local governments, including cities, states, and tribal administrations.
2022 proved to be as economically brutal as the past two years for low and moderate-income individuals and households. And the situation was worsened by the total lack of federal support. The federal stimulus checks effectively ended with the third stimulus check, but there was some form of an extension as the expanded unemployment checks continue into the first week of September 2021.
Americans were simultaneously aided by the support they received from the expanded version of the Child Tax Credit stimulus check. For the first time, the CTC stimulus check also underwent changes that included giving the benefit to families that did not pay any tax. And also for the first time, the payments were given as an advance in the tax year itself.
Beneficiaries received up to $300 per child between July and December 2021. The amount constituted half of the total amount of between $3,000 and $3,600 per child given to parents against the Child Tax Credit payments. The balance half was given as a tax rebate or stimulus check against the 2021 income tax return submitted in the first quarter of 2022.
But that was the last of the federal stimulus checks and 2022 would have been a dry one. It was at the same time that prices started to rise at an alarming speed. People were forced to cut back on expenses as there was no support forthcoming from the government.
But states gradually moved in and by the end of 2022 around 20 states had sent out some form of support to residents. The stimulus checks took many forms. They included tax rebates, sales tax waivers, preloaded fuel cards, direct transfer of funds to banks, and regular paper stimulus checks.
California was among the last states to move in with the Middle-Class Tax Refund. It cast the net wider with around 20 million residents benefitting from the stimulus check. The Golden State announced the stimulus check in June 2022 when the state legislature passed the state stimulus check, it’s third. But it was not until the festive season that the state finally sent out its payments.
The payments coincided with the festive season. Though the initial payments were through direct transfer to the bank accounts of beneficiaries, a large part of the payment was through pre–loaded debit cards that were sent at a later stage.
The debit cards reached residents through the U S Postal Service and delays caused payments to be dragged through the first quarter of 2023. The second quarter saw little movement, but some states have started to come forward even as the second quarter draws to a close.
Pennsylvania Stimulus Checks And Rebate Program
The elderly and the disabled in Pensyvanin can now apply for tax rebates on rent and property tax that they have paid in 2022. This was announced by the revenue department of the state. This support has been made available through the Property tax and rent rebate program. This stimulus check program has delivered over $7.6 billion to eligible Pennsylvanians ever since the inception of the program in 1971.
The eligible residents of Pennsylvania can visit myPATH.pa.gov and electronically submit their options online. The revenue department of Pennsylvania offers this online option to file and also makes it easier for the nearly half a million residents who benefit from the program by submitting their applications.
Pat Browne, the acting revenue secretary, said that using the myPATH option to file online makes it easy for filers and saves valuable time, and saves you from a trip to the mailbox.
For those who are eligible for a rebate, Browne advised them to check their eligibility status and go for an online filing if they have the right qualification. He said that the government wants to do all it can to ensure that all eligible residents receive the vital assistance that is provided by the program.
Following a thorough check of the eligibility requirements, filers can submit their rebate application. Submitting through the app is easy, and it does not require filers to sign up for the account.
Applicants have been asked to provide specific information on their income, and their rent and property taxes. The rebate program is slated to benefit residents who are above sixty-five years, widowers and widows above the age of fifty, and the disabled who are eighteen and above.
The income limit has been set at $35,000 a year for homeowners while for renters the income limit comes to $15,000 annually.
The maximum standard rebate has been set at $350, though supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost the rebates to as much as $975. The revenue department will automatically calculate the supplemental rebates that qualifying homeowners might get.
The rebates are funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery and Revenue from slat-gaming. In the previous year, a one-time bonus went out to eligible claimants on rent paid or on property tax for the tax year 2021. The payment then was authorized by Act 54, 2022. This one-off stimulus check was 70% of the original rebate claim amount of each of the applicants. This year there will not be a repeat of the bonus under the Property Tax or Rent Rebate Program.