As Bills Pile Up, Many Anxiously Keep Tabs on the Stimulus Bill


“It’s the worst thing I can think of,” she said. “If you had told me a year ago that the whole country would suffer the way it is now, without the help of the government, I would have told you that this would never happen. We live in America. “

More than 20 million Americans receive unemployment benefits and the unemployment rate is 6.7 percent. A year ago, before the pandemic, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, a 50-year low.

For those living on the fringes, recent political game art has been furious.

“We don’t have time for them to argue,” said Shannon Williams of Toledo, Ohio, who has lost two jobs in the pandemic. “Everyone needs help sometimes, and right now a lot of people need it.”

The second stimulus

Answers to your questions about the stimulus calculation

Updated December 27, 2020

Legislators agreed to a plan to provide $ 600 stimulus payments and distribute $ 300 federal unemployment benefits for 11 weeks. The bill was largely passed by both houses of Congress, but President Trump opposes signing it. Learn more about the bill and what it contains for you should the president ultimately legally sign it.

    • Do I get another incentive payment? Individual adults with adjusted gross income on their 2019 tax returns of up to $ 75,000 per year would receive a payment of $ 600, and heads of household up to $ 112,500 and a couple (or someone whose spouse died in 2020) would receive up to to earn $ 150,000 per year Get double the amount. If they have dependent children, they will also receive $ 600 for each child. People with incomes just above this level would receive a partial payment that decreases by $ 5 for every $ 100 of income.
    • When could my payment arrive? Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that he expected the first payments to be made before the end of the year. However, it will take a while for everyone to receive their money.
    • Does the agreement concern unemployment insurance? Legislators agreed to extend the length of time people can receive unemployment benefits and restart an additional federal benefit that is on top of the usual state benefits. But instead of $ 600 a week it would be $ 300. That would take until March 14th.
    • I am behind on my rent or expect to be soon. Do I get relief? The deal would provide $ 25 billion to be distributed through state and local governments to help backward tenants. In order to receive support, households would have to meet various conditions: the household income (for 2020) must not exceed 80 percent of the regional median income; At least one household member must be at risk of homelessness or residential instability. and individuals must be eligible for unemployment benefits or face direct or indirect financial difficulties due to the pandemic. The agreement states that priority will be given to support for lower-income families who have been unemployed for three months or more.

Many unemployed cannot wait long for this help. Robert Van Sant’s $ 484 per week unemployment benefit does not cover his $ 2,200 monthly expenses for rent, utilities, internet access, food and other necessities. But the extra federal money would lessen the burden on his savings account that he used to make ends meet.

“I was really relieved,” said Van Sant, 51, who was on leave from his job as a bartender in Chicago. “It would have meant that I could go to the grocery store and actually buy something I really want instead of eating beans, bread and bologna.”

The future of Mr Van Sant depends on the fate of his stimulus package. Without the help, he would have to return to his hometown of Bettendorf, Iowa, where the cost of living is lower. “It just makes me sad. I’ve worked all my life to live in the city and all that goes with it, ”he said.

The Stimulus Bill enables AJ Holley, 50, who lost her job as a restaurant manager, to continue receiving benefits. Without the aid money, she had planned to pay her bills with funds from her 401 (k), which she had recently liquidated. She would not be able to pay rent for the apartment she shares with her 19-year-old daughter until March.