Here’s everything we know.
Should you plan on a fourth stimulus payment this year? It may depend on how Congress defines “stimulus check.” Large batches of the third stimulus check for up to $1,400 per person are still going out from the IRS. But already, in Washington, some are talking about more direct payments, especially as President Joe Biden eyes a new infrastructure bill for 2021, one focused largely on revving the economy, fixing infrastructure and combating inequality.
In early March, a group of 10 progressive senators, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, asked Biden to include recurring stimulus payments (PDF) in the next spending bill: “We urge you to include recurring direct payments and automatic unemployment insurance extensions tied to economic conditions in your Build Back Better long-term economic plan. This crisis is far from over, and families deserve certainty that they can put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.” Later in March, another group of 21 Democrats made a similar request to Biden.
The current stimulus checks will cause the economy to grow rapidly, economists say, but also unevenly, with some cities projected to hurt for “decades,” even with COVID-19 vaccinations on the upswing and the US economy showing glimmers of hope. Would more direct payments arrive in a different form, something other than a “stimulus check”? We spell out some possibilities below. If you’re waiting for your third stimulus check, here’s how to track your payment and here’s how to contact the IRS with a problem. Also here’s how to calculate your child tax credit. This story is frequently updated.