COVID-19

When will people start getting $600 COVID checks?

Mitchell Hartman Dec 22, 2020
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Getting checks out to Americans who are already in the IRS’ system should be quick this time around. Jeff Fusco/Getty Images
COVID-19

When will people start getting $600 COVID checks?

Mitchell Hartman Dec 22, 2020
Heard on:
Getting checks out to Americans who are already in the IRS’ system should be quick this time around. Jeff Fusco/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The new pandemic relief bill includes another round of “economic impact payments” to Americans. The plan proposes $600 for an individual, $1,200 for a family — half as much as under the CARES Act last spring.

Each child under 17 would get $600 — it was $500 last time. The payments would start to phase out for folks earning more than $75,000 a year and $150,000 a year for a family. And, U.S. citizens married to undocumented immigrants or those without a green card would be eligible this time around.

That money could start flowing soon.

Getting checks out to Americans who are already in the IRS’ system should be quick this time around, said Kyle Pomerleau at the American Enterprise Institute.

“The advantage of a second time is that you’ve learned all your lessons, you have all the infrastructure in place — especially for those that have already received one round, because the information is already there,” Pomerleau said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said payments could start hitting Americans’ bank accounts as early as next week.

That’ll be crucial to keep the recovery going, said John Leer at Morning Consult. He pointed out that as the economy was tanking last spring, the arrival of relief checks revived consumer confidence.

“So I would expect a similar phenomenon this time around,” Leer said. “People are losing pay and income, so it’s impossible to overstate just how important it is to have this stimulus money hitting the economy right now.”

Pomerleau predicted that more than 8 in 10 American households could get a check.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Millions of Americans are unemployed, but businesses say they are having trouble hiring. Why?

This economic crisis is unusual compared to traditional recessions, according to Daniel Zhao, senior economist with Glassdoor. “Many workers are still sitting out of the labor force because of health concerns or child care needs, and that makes it tough to find workers regardless of what you’re doing with wages or benefits,” Zhao said. “An extra dollar an hour isn’t going to make a cashier with preexisting conditions feel that it’s safe to return to work.” This can be seen in the restaurant industry: Some workers have quit or are reluctant to apply because of COVID-19 concerns, low pay, meager benefits and the stress that comes with a fast-paced, demanding job. Restaurants have been willing to offer signing bonuses and temporary wage increases. One McDonald’s is even paying people $50 just to interview.

Could waiving patents increase the global supply of COVID-19 vaccines?

India and South Africa have introduced a proposal to temporarily suspend patents on COVID-19 vaccines. Backers of the plan say it would increase the supply of vaccines around the world by allowing more countries to produce them. Skeptics say it’s not that simple. There’s now enough supply in the U.S that any adult who wants a shot should be able to get one soon. That reality is years away for most other countries. More than 100 countries have backed the proposal to temporarily waive COVID-19 vaccine patents. The U.S isn’t one of them, but the White House has said it’s considering the idea.

Can businesses deny you entry if you don’t have a vaccine passport?

As more Americans get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy begins reopening, some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination to enter their premises. The concept of a vaccine passport has raised ethical questions about data privacy and potential discrimination against the unvaccinated. However, legal experts say businesses have the right to deny entrance to those who can’t show proof.

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