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$500 stimulus checks are coming this month – see if you qualify

A man is shown opening a wallet full of cash.

As we head towards the end of 2021, and the last instances for the year of the federal government sending out stimulus payments to millions of Americans, there’s an important stimulus check update to keep in mind.

Just because the final such check the federal government issues is coming on December 15 (more on that in a moment), that doesn’t signal the end of all such payments. Depending on where a person lives, for example, there are a number of checks going out from individual states. And even at the local level, in some cities. We’ll dive into the details you need to know, below.

More stimulus checks, depending on where you live

States like Arizona and Connecticut, for example, have sent out $1,000 checks to residents who rejoin the workforce. Elsewhere in the US, New Mexico in recent days announced that more than 3,000 low-income households will get a one-time payment of $452 in emergency financial aid.

What about at the local level, like we noted above? St. Louis is one example of that.

Later this month, an application window will open. And city residents can apply for $500 in direct cash assistance. The money is part of funding the city got from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan legislation earlier this year. “The program is designed to assist at least 9,300 (St. Louis) residents who have lost income due to COVID-19,” according to the city. “Those individuals who meet residency and income requirements will be eligible to apply for $500 direct cash assistance.”

According to the latest stimulus check update from the city, it expects to start taking applications on December 18. Among the requirements you must meet:

  • Of course, recipients must be St. Louis residents.
  • They must also have suffered lost income during the COVID-19 crisis. For reasons that include, but are not limited to: Cut hours, job loss, funeral expenses, and/or treatment costs.
  • Also, recipients must earn at or under 80% of the Area Median Income. A table walking through those numbers is available here.

Other payments

As far as the rest of our latest stimulus payment update to share, it’s worth mentioning again that the federal government’s final such check for 2021 comes on December 15.

That one is the sixth child tax credit payment. Part of a series of monthly checks that started in July, it gives parents with eligible children a few hundred dollars a month. And there’s also a companion benefit tied to these checks coming in 2022.

The six checks, together, are an advance payment of half of the overall child tax credit. The second half, parents will get when they file their federal tax return. They’ll get that benefit as normal at that time — as an actual tax credit.

Meanwhile, we’re also waiting to see if the monthly stimulus checks continue next year, as well. The Biden administration has proposed a 1-year extension, as part of the so-called Build Back Better legislation. The Senate, however, has not taken final action on that bill, so its fate is still somewhat uncertain at the moment.

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Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.