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Stimulus Assistance: Here’s How Some Families Can Get Thousands Of Dollars In Pandemic Assistance



The federal government’s stimulus programs during the pandemic have targeted trillions of aid to families, businesses and local governments. Although most qualified households have already received control from the three rounds of direct stimulus assistance, some forms of state aid are still available.

Experts say a number of government initiatives have helped stem the tide of economic hardship for millions of Americans. A large part of the support is aimed at low- and middle-income households, which are more vulnerable to job and income losses. For example, families with children under the age of 1

7 will soon be able to press extended tax deduction for childcare and other expenses that enable parents to return to the workforce.

Stimulus assistance has an impact: 28% of households in mid-June reported difficulties in paying their expenses during the previous week – down from a peak of 38% in December, according to an analysis of census data from the Center for Budget and Political Priorities .

The programs offer significant financial assistance. Together, they can provide a low-income working family with two children under the age of 6 as much as $ 40,000 in benefits through a combination of direct cash payments and tax deductions.

To be sure, not all families will qualify for all available stimulus assistance. But for people in financial need, even more modest levels of help can make a meaningful difference. Below is an overview of available programs created through several stimulus bills adopted during the pandemic.

Stimulus checks: $ 11,400 for a family of four

The IRS has sent three rounds of stimulus control that were tied to household income and number of children. Each round offered different payment amounts and eligibility requirements. But millions of families qualified for all three, entitling a eligible family of four with two children under the age of 17 to a total of $ 11,400 in direct payments.

To be sure, most of this money has already been paid out. But tax officials in June said they were still sending stimulus checks from the last round, which yielded $ 1,400 for each eligible adult and child. It also still makes what are called “plus-up” payments, additional money to households that did not receive all the funds to which they are entitled.

The latter problem could e.g. Occur if a family had a child last year. This is because the IRS sent out payments before many families had filed their 2020 tax returns – in which case the agency reviewed the eligibility based on 2019 tax returns that would not reflect the new birth.

The IRS continues to process tax returns. It has one backlog of 35 million returns, which means that some households may be queuing up for additional payments.

If you have not received a stimulus check that you believe you qualify for or have received less than you should have, the IRS advises you to file a 2020 tax return and claim a Recovery Discount Credit. It is a line on Form 1040 that allows you to claim one or both of the first two checks.

Submitting a 2020 tax return will also allow people to qualify for the third round of stimulus support, the IRS notes.

Child Tax Credit: Up to $ 3,600 per Child

Another major stimulus program that can affect as many as 36 million households is extended child tax credit (CTC), which will provide $ 3,600 to each child under 6 and $ 3,000 for children ages 6 to 17. The CTC has been in existence since the 1990s, but President Joe Biden’s U.S. rescue plan has expanded it and added cash payments.

Some advocates of poverty believe it could give a huge boost to household finances and even lift more than 4 million children out of poverty because the measure begins depositing monthly checks in bank accounts on July 15th.

CTC works by delivering half of the credit in cash payments over six months from July to December. In other words, a family with a child under the age of 6 will receive $ 3,600 credit with $ 1,800 paid in cash over the next six months – or $ 300 per month. Month.

This means that a family of four with two children under the age of 6 will receive $ 3,600 through December or $ 600 per month. The remainder of the CTC is required as a tax deduction when people file their taxes in early 2022.

People can check if they want to receive the payments and update their bank account information through the Child Tax Credit Update Portal on the IRS website.

Earned Income Tax Credit: Up to $ 6,700

Like CTC, the Income Tax Credit (EITC) has been around for years. But the U.S. rescue plan expanded the benefit, which targets low- and middle-income households. For example, single taxpayers without children need to earn less than approx. $ 21,000 to qualify, while married couples with three children must have an annual income of less than about $ 57,400.

The U.S. rescue plan expanded the size of the credit and changed some of the guidelines, meaning more people will qualify for the tax rebate this year.

The maximum credit amount was also increased this year, meaning single taxpayers without children could receive $ 1,502 in 2021 instead of about $ 500 previously. Low- or moderate-income families with three or more children receive the largest EITC of more than $ 6,700 per year. Household.

The incentive proposal also extended the age entitlement in 2021 with the minimum age reduced from 25 to 19, while former foster children and homeless young people can claim the credit if they are 18 instead of 25.

The EITC has also temporarily waived its upper age limit. This means that people aged 65 or over can claim the credit on their 2021 tax.

Tax credit for children and dependent care: Up to $ 8,000 per. Child

This program has not received as much attention as the extended tax credit for children, but tax credit for children and dependent care can offer a huge benefit to working families in the current tax year. Child and Dependent Care credit is aimed at helping families who need to pay for childcare to enable parents to work.

The US rescue plan changed the credit in several ways:

  • Extending the credit to $ 8,000 per. Child, up from $ 3,000 previously and up to a maximum of $ 16,000 per child. Family.
  • If you increase the maximum number of childcare expenses, you can claim 50% of the qualified expenses up from 35%. For example, if your daycare costs $ 16,000 annually, you can claim up to $ 8,000 of this through this tax deduction.
  • To make the CDC fully refundable, which means that taxpayers who do not owe income tax receive the tax rebate as a refund check.

There are income limits for this extended tax credit, but this means that some higher income families may not receive all the benefits. For example, households earning more than $ 125,000 will be phased out by the ability to claim 50% of childcare expenses, with households earning more than $ 438,000 annually completely phased out, the IRS says.

This is a tax credit that you include in your 2021 tax return, provided you meet the qualification requirements. This means that taxpayers will not see the benefit until they file their returns early next year, with some potentially receiving a larger tax refund.

Internet assistance: $ 50 per month

Low-income households and those who have suffered a loss of income due to the pandemic may qualify for a $ 50 monthly discount on their broadband bill.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit program, run by the Federal Communications Commission, aims to connect households with jobs and distance education among other services. The program is open for applications on the FCC website.

Households can qualify in a variety of ways, such as participating in an aid program like food stamps, or if they lost income due to the pandemic and had an annual income last year of less than $ 99,000 for single taxpayers and under $ 198,000 for joint filing.

Food stamps: Prepaid cards from groceries, extra benefits

The food stamp program was also expanded during the pandemic, providing greater benefits to eligible households, as well as a new program set up for children who may have missed school meals given the widespread transition to distance learning.

The U.S. rescue plan extended a temporary bump of 15% in benefits with food stamps until Sept. 30, or about $ 27 in additional benefits per month. Person every month.

The stimulus bill also expanded the Pandemic EBT program through the summer, which is aimed at helping children access food. The P-EBT program was first approved by Congress last spring when the pandemic closed schools and provided prepaid cards that allow families to buy food in grocery stores and elsewhere.

P-EBT cards are available for students who would have received free meals or discounted meals if their schools had not been closed or operated for reduced hours. Families can apply for these benefits through their children’s schools or through their state’s SNAP program.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: Extra $ 300 per week

Several pandemic unemployment programs are still in operation until early September – with the exception of the 26 states that have said they will end the programs early.

The early restriction of unemployment assistance in states ranging from Texas to New Hampshire will affect 4.7 million unemployed workers, according to an estimate by the National Employment Law Project, a group of lawyers. But in the other 24 states, workers who have lost their jobs can apply for the benefits, which include an additional $ 300 in weekly benefits.

Emergency assistance for tenants

Pandemic relief efforts have targeted $ 25 billion to tenants who qualify for the Emergency Rental Assistance program, which targets low- and moderate-income households who suffered a job or loss of income in the pandemic and who are at risk of homelessness or unstable housing.

Qualifying tenants can receive up to 15 months of rental assistance. Generally, people need to apply through their state. Start by google your state and “Emergency Rental Assistance” to find your state’s application portal. You generally need documents such as payroll and an ongoing lease showing your rental amount, among other documents.

Many eligible tenants may not be aware of the program, according to The Washington Post, which reported earlier this month that only $ 1.5 billion of the earmarked funds have been spent so far.

Enhanced ACA Premium Subsidies: $ 50 per month

The U.S. rescue plan also has a provision to lower the health care costs of people who purchase their insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces.

These increased tax deductions were available from April 1 and should lower premiums by an average of $ 50 per month, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The agency said the tax deductions are available to people who submit an application or plan on April 1 or later. Current ACA entrants should update their applications and enrollments to take advantage of the new tax deductions, which should reduce their premiums for the rest of the year, the agency said.


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