COVID-19

When will people start getting $600 COVID checks?

Mitchell Hartman Dec 22, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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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
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

With a slow vaccine rollout so far, how has the government changed its approach?

On Tuesday, Jan. 12, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced changes to how the federal government is distributing vaccine doses. The CDC has expanded coronavirus vaccine eligibility to everyone 65 and older, along with people with conditions that might raise their risks of complications from COVID-19. The new approach also looks to reward those states that are the most efficient by giving them more doses, but critics say that won’t address underlying problems some states are having with vaccine rollout.

What kind of help can small businesses get right now?

A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.

What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?

New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.

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