Stimulus Update: Is There A Fourth Stimulus Check?

Article Summary:

The initial stimulus checks were an absolute godsend for Americans suffering through the first truly global pandemic in 100 years. However, are there more stimulus checks in the pipeline? The answer to this is both yes and no. We will take you through the money still available down the line and if anything more will be released in the future through a fourth stimulus check.

The word for a crisis in Chinese is “weiji”, which is a combination of the words for “danger” and “opportunity.” Many interpret this word to mean “Every crisis has an opportunity.” In regards to the Global Pandemic Crisis, it created an opportunity for millions of Americans to receive stimulus checks. It also created an opportunity for the American government to obtain experience in how to best make sure the federal stimulus payments reach people’s bank accounts.

The government so far has executed three different stimulus payments that total $3,200. As the pandemic subsides, most people are wondering: “Will there be a fourth stimulus check?” The answer to this question is complicated. Although it is questionable whether the federal government will enact a fourth federal stimulus, there is still money to be had from states that received it during the first three such as the American Rescue Plan.

Having access to the money will depend on where you live and who you are in most cases. Furthermore, there are arguments for and against enacting a fourth round of federal stimulus payments. These are being heard now in the halls of Congress.

Further stimulus payments available by state

As some may know, the Federal Government gave stimulus payments both directly to American residents and directly to State Governments. This means that although you might have spent all of your stimulus money, many states still possess cash.

Here are the States where more stimulus is planned for residents in a somewhat more targeted manner.

Different states have different stimulus Programs

The beauty of the American Federalist system is that states often have the power to decide how they want to allocate the stimulus money. They do this in various ways, but in most cases, they want to help target groups that they feel need stimulus funds to a greater extent than the general population. Here are a few examples.

Front-line workers stimulus payments

Some states want to help American households and individuals that were heavily involved in the front lines of the pandemic. Maine, Missouri, and Vermont all have this type of stimulus payment strategy. Maine will offer $285 to all of those who worked during the pandemic, particularly on the front lines. Vermont plans to offer between $1,200 to $2,000 in stimulus money to workers on the front line of the pandemic. Lastly, Missouri is giving an extra $250 in stimulus money to those in mental healthcare and nursing homes.

Unemployment-geared stimulus payments

Other states plan on routing more of their federal stimulus funds into programs geared toward unemployment benefits. Arizona plans to offer $2,000 in stimulus payments (called a “reward payment” in this case) to individuals who lost their jobs during the pandemic but now have a job. Colorado and New York will offer stimulus payments of $375 and $3,200, respectively, based on unemployment during the pandemic.

Teachers receiving stimulus payments

Teachers are probably the most rewarded group in this category due to their incredible sacrifices during the pandemic. Georgia and Tennessee are giving a $1,000 bonus to teachers and a $500 bonus to part-time teachers using stimulus money. Florida is also giving out a $1,000 bonus to teachers and others involved in the education field. Some states like Texas and Michigan gave stimulus money to teachers in the past but are currently waiting to see what a further state-wide stimulus would look like.

Was the previous stimulus money used intelligently?

When discussing the possibilities of the fourth round of stimulus funds, it’s important to take note of how previous stimulus funds were spent. Here is a breakdown of where the stimulus money was spent for the average adult American.

One of the main arguments against stimulus checks was that people would waste the money spending on frivolous items. However, like many things in this world, the data indicates that this wasn’t the case. Although the first stimulus received in people’s bank accounts was heavy on spending, with 74% choosing to spend the stimulus money, the other two stimulus payments were used much heavier on paying off debts and savings. In the second stimulus plan, the Consolidation Appropriations Act, 77% of people spent their stimulus mostly on paying debt or saving their money. In the American Rescue Plan, which was the third stimulus plan, this number increased yet again. 81% of eligible adults spent their money contributing to savings or paying off debt.

Will a fourth stimulus check contribute to inflation?

Rising inflation is a concern for many Americans and for good reason. See SuperMoney’s Inflation Study for more details on inflation levels. One of the main arguments against a fourth stimulus is that it will contribute even more to inflation.

Some argue that the stimulus checks for eligible adults are the main driver behind the inflationary numbers that we see today. Others argue that the main driver for inflation has been the supply chain interruptions that didn’t exist during the pre-pandemic level. Like most things, it may be a mixture of both. President Joe Biden has elaborated that most of the inflation is in fact related to factors outside of government policy.

However, it’s important to note here that the numbers reflect that only a small portion of the stimulus impacts inflation. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the American Rescue Plan, the largest of the comprehensive stimulus packages by the Biden Administration so far, will cause a rise in inflation by 0.3% in 2021 and 0.3% in 2022. During and after 2023, the effect barely registers on the data.

Will there be a fourth federal stimulus check?

This is the question on everyone’s mind: “Is the federal government going to give to have more cash available to put into my account?” The Federal Reserve Bank says this is unlikely.

There is a push for certain types of stimulus, such as the Child Tax Credit, but a federal direct stimulus payment is rather unlikely.”

In March 2022, the unemployment rate decreased by 0.2% to a national rate of 3.6% by the end of the month. Historically speaking, this is one of the best unemployment rates in American history. However, this does not take into account such factors as the labor participation rate. This remains relatively low at 62.4% of the population. This means that although the economy is doing well in some aspects, there is still work that needs to be done in terms of ascertaining an ideal labor market.

As most of us know, the real decisions about stimulus will be made in the halls of Congress and the backrooms of the White House. Although there are people in the government who support more direct federal stimulus, it likely won’t lead to any official policy. There is a push for certain types of stimulus, such as the Child Tax Credit, to be made into permanent law. However, regarding direct stimulus payments in bank accounts for everyone, this is unlikely.

The economy is doing relatively well comparatively, but as we know, things can change. The Omicron and Delta variants taught us that viral mutations might decide this future rather than anything else.

However, regardless of possible viral mutations and geopolitical misadventures, now is a great time to invest your money safely. Here are some options that we recommend for good financial advice.

FAQs

Can you check the status of your stimulus check?

Yes, you can check the status of your stimulus check using the IRS’s “Get My Payment” tool. You need to create an online IRS account for the online portal or refer to IRS  notices 1444 and 1444B, which should have been received in the mail.

Will there be a Gas Stimulus Check?

Although nothing has been actually approved, Congress has a proposal to enact a rebate of $100 a month for energy expenses and an additional $100 a month for each dependent.

Key Takeaways

  • The Federal Government has already enacted three stimulus checks direct to residents. As of now, there is not indication of a fourth.
  • Most states still have stimulus money left and therefore are using it to distribute to targeted individuals.
  • The stimulus program of most states will target front-line workers, teachers, and those who lost their jobs because of the pandemic.
  • Most Americans have progressively spent more of their stimulus checks on savings and debt relief as there have been progressively more stimulus checks.
  • Although it has contributed slightly to inflation, the main driver behind inflation is not due to stimulus checks but rather supply chain difficulties and geopolitical uncertainty.
  • As long as the economy continues to stabilize, stimulus checks result in a diminishing return from a macro perspective. Thus, this is unlikely in the foreseeable future.
View Article Sources
  1. Three Rounds of Coronavirus Stimulus Checks — Peter G. Peterson Foundation
  2. Employment Situation Summary — U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. Majority Who Received Stimulus Payments Spending Most of It on Household Expenses — Census Bureau
  4. How Did Americans Spend Their Stimulus Checks — Peter G. Peterson Foundation
  5. Is The American Rescue Plan Taking Us Back to the 60s? — Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
  6. Inflation Study — SuperMoney
  7. Arizona’s Back to Work Program — Arizona Department of Economic Security
  8. Golden State Stimulus — California Franchise Tax Board
  9. Polis Stimulus Payment — Colorado Department of Labor
  10. Disaster Relief Payment — Maine Revenue Services
  11. Maryland Relief Act — Maryland Taxes
  12. Coronavirus Updates — New Mexico Humans Services Department