While we all wait for another stimulus, which is not guaranteed, the amount will vary. How much will your check be before the year ends?
A $908 billion bipartisan proposal initially left out stimulus payments, focusing instead on providing jobless workers with an additional $300 in weekly unemployment aid. But a last-minute addition to the package could include another round of checks, most likely at the $600 per-person level, according to a December 16 research note from Raymond James analysts.
The $748 billion measure would help millions of jobless workers by adding 16 weeks to the unemployment programs that are now set to expire at the end of December. The Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), which had provided $600 a week to jobless workers until it expired in July, would be renewed with weekly benefits of $300. The plan would also extend a federal eviction moratorium by an extra month, through the end of January.
“This package is far from perfect — there are major omissions, including a cut in PUC from $600 to $300 and no continuation of paid leave,” said Andrew Stettner, an expert on unemployment with The Century Foundation, a left-leaning think tank. “Nonetheless, the proposal represents a strong down payment of assistance for unemployed workers and the entire economy.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other congressional leaders spoke on December 15 to discuss the relief package and a broader government spending bill, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calling in, according to Pelosi’s spokesman on Twitter.
“The Speaker and Secretary Mnuchin spoke at Noon by phone for 1 hour, 7 minutes and discussed the latest on COVID and Omni talks. The Secretary will join the Four Corners leadership meeting today at 4 p.m. by phone,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill wrote on Twitter.
Will the package include a second round of stimulus checks, the direct cash payments that helped millions of households weather the economic crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Splitting the bill may boost the likelihood of extending jobless benefits before year-end, Heights Securities said in a research note. Analysts said there’s a “nearly categorical 80% that Congress will enact at least a moderate sized ($400-750B) stimulus before the week is over.”
The politically fraught debate over additional stimulus funding is leaving millions of households hanging in the dark about what, if any, aid they might receive over the next few weeks. For many people, the financial picture is dimming as winter approaches and coronavirus cases reach new daily highs.
December 26 “feels like a ticking time bomb,” Bonin added, referring to the date when unemployment aid is set to expire for 12 million jobless workers. “None of it is enough — whether it’s $600, or a one time $1,200 check — none of it is enough to answer the need out there.”
In the meantime, millions of U.S. families are struggling to pay their bills, and layoffs remain historically high. Among consumers who have been affected by the pandemic, about 8 in 10 are concerned about their ability to pay their bills — with half saying they’re worried about affording their rent or mortgage, according to the TransUnion survey.
“Nearly two in five impacted consumers say they really need a future stimulus check and don’t know how they will get by without,” the credit reporting agency found.