The first term of President Biden’s presidency will be inextricably linked with a few key developments in history books, one of which is the distribution of billions of dollars in stimulus checks to mitigate the economic pain associated with the coronavirus pandemic. And our latest stimulus check update only reiterates how true this is.
Earlier this month, the IRS reported that about $15 billion was sent out during the new round of child tax credit stimulus payments. That third wave of checks went out on September 15, with three more still to come. We also had $1,400 stimulus checks from the federal government earlier this year. Plus a number of stimulus checks going out at the state level. And now, a surprise $600 check that no one expected is coming soon — but to a few specific groups of people.
Stimulus check update — new payment coming
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the new relief effort this month. It’s part of a $700 million program that will help US farmworkers as well as the country’s meatpacking workforce. And a portion of that amount, totaling up to $20 million, is going to grocery store workers.
The intent here is to steer one-time, $600 checks to workers in a couple of key sectors whose jobs were indispensable during the pandemic. Jobs that also put workers right in the center of what were frequent outbreaks in grocery stores and factory settings.
As of the time of this writing, it wasn’t clear how much grocery store workers will get. Vilsack, meanwhile, elaborated on a conference call with reporters about this stimulus check update. He stressed that these new checks are “a reflection of the essential nature of the work (the workers) performed in the pandemic.”
This new stimulus check also differs from similar aid distributed up this point during the pandemic. The IRS won’t be the agency sending out these new payments. Rather, they’ll come from state agencies, nonprofits, and tribal governments. Vilsack’s agency will parcel out funds to those groups to distribute. The secretary also says his agency will prioritize funders that have a track record of responsiveness to, for example, migrant workers.
“We recognize that our farmworkers, meatpacking workers, and grocery workers overcame unprecedented challenges and took on significant personal risk to ensure Americans could feed and sustain their families throughout the pandemic,” Vilsack said. He added that “they deserve recognition for their resilience.”
This comes against the backdrop, by the way, of even more stimulus checks on the way.
In a couple of weeks, another child tax credit stimulus payment is coming. That one will be paid out on October 15 and be followed by two more. One on November 15, and the other on December 15.
As a reminder, those checks are giving parents with eligible children a few hundred extra dollars each month.