With the pandemic still going on, several families have been calling for more financial aid- which also includes another stimulus check. For those struggling to stay afloat, the payments have definitely been a godsend. The payments alone have lifted close to 12 million citizens in the country out of an impoverished state- which has been highlighted in a new government analysis. These numbers are definitely encouraging- but it may not be permanent. With the government support coming to an end, the rate of poverty could definitely increase over the course of the year.
Stimulus Check Makes A Huge Difference
Just the previous year, the official poverty threshold for the country- as put forward by the government- was $26,496. This implied that around 11.4% of the households were living under a modicum of poverty– which was way more than in 2019. But the Census Department has stated that official data can often be misleading. Now, with the implementation of COVID relief measures like stimulus check payments and other unemployment benefits, the poverty rate has gone down to 9.1%- the lowest on record.
A couple of key policies have led to this difference- stimulus check payments have gone about and brought up 11.7 million people above the poverty line. The unemployment benefits that have come up have also made sure that around 5.5 million of the population wouldn’t be falling underneath the poverty line in the first place. The extra cash the families have received has also helped them increase their median income by 4%.
Nevertheless, several economists have been sounding warnings. The stimulus check payments and other relief measures are slowly winding down- and while they made the previous year a lot more bearable than it could have been, the future might look bleak if immediate steps are not taken.