It is almost a year since the last federal stimulus checks went out to Americans. The first installment of the expanded Child Tax Credit stimulus check proved to be the last of the federal payments before political bickering in Washington put a halt to any further support from the Biden administration.
It has been a long and disappointing wait for the stimulus checks as there have been no federal direct payments authored by the government to be sent to individuals and families since the American Rescue Plan Act was signed by President Biden in March 2021, two months after he assumed office.
Though some lawmakers continue in their efforts to try and move forward with more help for parents, additional stimulus checks aren’t likely to come any time soon due to a total lack of support from the Republican opposition.
But even without a fresh announcement by the federal administration, millions of Americans are still in line for stimulus checks in 2023. Some Democratic lawmakers and President Biden continue to try to revive the expanded Child Tax Credit stimulus check which was one of the more successful stimulus payments.
Expanded Child Tax Credit Stimulus Checks Under Rescue Plan Was A Huge Success
The expansion of the Child Tax Credit stimulus check was a huge success. The Democrats passed a significant change to the CTC stimulus checks after Joe Biden came to power and offered more money to more parents, sent the money in advance, gave out a monthly check for the payments, and ensured that people who did not pay taxes also were eligible for the offer.
Parents received an assured monthly stimulus check that could be worth as much as $600 for parents with two kids below 6 years. But the expiry of the expansion at that end of the year proved to be the end of the payments as the Republicans did not allow President Biden to go ahead with plans to give continual indefinite support to teachers or at least through 2025.
After the expansion expired at the end of last year, President Biden and the overwhelming number of Democratic legislators sought to extend it, possibly even make it a permanent feature for parents. But they did not have the necessary support as, despite their slender majority, Democrat Senators Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema refused to agree to the deal.
The CTC deal fell through as President Biden needed every vote in the Senate as the upper chamber was split right down the middle giving Vice President Kamala Harris the deciding vote. This betrayal at the instance of vested interests scuttled the entire package and put a halt to the entire payments in the future.
The end of the expanded Child Tax Credit meant a return to a life of hunger and crushing debt for most low and moderate-income families. Families say that they are back to the basic life of continuous struggle. It means giving up many of the necessities of life.
The Child Tax Credit expansion was a resounding success. The monthly payments of up to $300 a month between July and December 2021 and the balance of 50% as a rebate or refund against 2021 income tax returns brought down children in the grip of poverty. Around 3 million children were free from poverty during this period in just the first month alone. Hunger among children fell by 3 percentage points in the first month, but childless adults did not experience any change, thus proving that the CTC stimulus checks were directly effective.
By the second month, the number of households with children who did not have enough to eat fell by another 3.3 million. Parents receiving the money were also better able to afford other necessities like rent, clothes, and utilities.
But those trends quickly went for a toss as the payments came to a halt. Within a month, the monthly child poverty rate spiked from 12.1% to 17%, the highest since end-2020. That would mean 3.7 million more kids back into the clutches of poverty.
The trend continues into 2022. Though there was a slight fall in the first two months, it remains at 16.7%, far higher than when the monthly CTC stimulus checks were going out to families. There are still 3.4 million more children in poverty that month than in December 2021.
State Stimulus Checks Only Relief In A Bleak Year
Americans waiting for stimulus checks in 2022 had faced nothing but disappointment and 2023 promises nothing much as the Republicans regain control of the House of Representatives. There have been no direct payments that have been sanctioned for families and individuals.
But the state stimulus checks continue into 2023 and that appears to be the only piece of good news emanating at the beginning of a new year. but most are extensions of state payments that have spilled over into the next years.
California stimulus check, called the Middle-Class Tax Rebate, is the biggest of the state stimulus checks, and the payments have been timed to coincide with the festive season. The bulk of the payments through direct bank transfers have been completed but the debit card payments remain, and even if mailed by the Franchise Tax Board of California, it will take around 2 weeks for the payments to reach the beneficiaries.
Around 8 million debit cards have been issued against around 7 million direct bank deposits. The total amount issued by the tax board of California is around $8.17 billion. A total of around 28.42 million residents of the Golden State have already benefitted from the Middle-Class Tax Rebate payments, the third of the California stimulus checks.
Residents who have filed their 2020 state income tax return by October 15, 2021, are eligible for the stimulus check. they should also meet the California Adjusted Gross Income limits for 2020 and should not have been eligible to be claimed as a dependent in the 2020 tax year.
They should also be a resident of the Golden State on the date the payment is issued. The payments are expected to continue into the second week of January 2023.