The IRS has already released 169 million payments in the third round of direct stimulus aid. As a result, most American households have already received the $1,400 checks. However, with surging inflation, the highest in the past 40 years, lawmakers are pushing for the fourth round of stimulus aid; envisage recurring payments until the pandemic ends reports the cbsnews.
A total of $3,200 has been paid to the eligible adults to alleviate the sufferings of the American Public due to the COVID pandemic. $1,200 under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act in March 2020, $600 in a December relief measure, and $1,400 under the American Rescue Plan, signed in March by President Joe Biden.
Surging Omicron cases and fears of lockdown justifies the need for a fourth stimulus check
The surge in Omicron has once again renewed fears of a lockdown. Millions of Americans are in financial distress, and an average American is finding it hard to meet expenses. According to the latest data from a Census survey that polled people during the first two weeks of December, one-quarter of Americans struggled to pay their household expenses in the previous week.
The unemployment rate is still 4.2% higher than the pre-pandemic level of 3.5%. There has been a spike in hiring but 2.3 million fewer people on payrolls today than before the pandemic. Schools and colleges have been closed after the surge in Omicron cases, and it has also prompted the cancellation of high-profile events, including Broadway shows.
Stimulus aid for more than 30 million Americans ended last month
The stimulus aid for more than 30 million Americans ended last month. The final payment from the Child Tax Credit was sent on December 15. Unfortunately, those checks — which provided up to $300 per eligible child — won’t continue in 2022. In addition, President Biden’s Build Back Better Act, which included a one-year program extension, has hit a roadblock.
Advocates are urging lawmakers to provide relief, if not all, to the most vulnerable sections of society. More than 95,000 people have signed a petition from the Senior Citizens League, an advocacy group for elderly Americans, to provide a one-time $1,400 check to seniors. Surging inflation has made the increase in Social Security benefits inadequate, with inflation surging to the highest levels in the last 40 years.
Rising inflation in 2021 far outpaced the 1.3% benefit increase that Social Security recipients received at the start of that year. But even with the 5.9% cost-of-living increase that goes into effect in January 2022, many seniors will still fall behind inflation, which jumped 6.8% in November.