Over the past month, many Americans who have benefited from receiving stimulus checks from the government, helping to cover the cost of rent or food for people who have lost income or jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of Thursday, at least 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the shutdowns began, with an additional 4.4 million making claims just last week.
The stimulus check through the CARES Act was a one-time payment of up to $1,200 (up to $2,400 for married couples, and an additional $500 per child). But with the pandemic showing no sign of ending any time soon, many people still need financial help. The question people are asking now is: will there be another stimulus check?
Well, it's a bit unclear right now. As of now, there are no concrete plans in place for another stimulus check, but some lawmakers are pushing for one. On April 14, the same week the first payments were being received, Representatives Ro Khanna (CA-17) and Tim Ryan (OH-13) introduced the Emergency Money for the People Act. In the press release announcing the plan, Rep. Khanna’s office wrote that “while the CARES Act was an important first step, its one-time payment does not provide nearly enough support for American families.”
The Emergency Money for the People Act proposes a monthly payment of $2,000 to U.S. citizens who are 16 and older and earn less than $130,000 a year. These payments would last at least six months, and could be received via direct deposit, paper check, Venmo, Zelle, or PayPal. However, this plan would have to pass a House vote before moving to the Senate and, eventually, the White House, before it could become law.
Laffler argues that this solution will incentivize businesses to keep employees on their payroll and decentivize employees leaving their jobs to file for unemployment during this time because “both employers and employees would receive money from the federal government on a biweekly basis instead of having to pay the government a certain percentage of wages in payroll tax.”
For many Americans, that financial help is already needed. Nearly one-third of people surveyed by Bankrate said they did not expect their stimulus check to last an entire month. What we don’t know yet is what that assistance will look like.