As 2021 draws to a close, one of the signature domestic achievements of President Biden’s first term of office is still casting a long shadow. And will continue to do so well into 2022. We’re referring, of course, to the $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan,” Biden’s stimulus package that was responsible for more than half a dozen stimulus payments over the course of this year. It led to at least $15 billion in stimulus relief every month since July. And it’s also responsible for a new stimulus check coming next week.
Indeed, all of this has represented a staggering flood of money from the federal government in response to the coronavirus pandemic. And it doesn’t even stop there. Americans are also getting stimulus checks from individual states. Plus payments for their children, and much more.
Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (or, P-EBT)
Regarding the latter, families of as many as 500,000 children in the state of Alabama are about to get extra $375 payments this week, if they haven’t already.
The payments will be deposited onto pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) cards and are for the benefit of Alabama children enrolled in the National School Lunch Program. The Alabama Department of Human Resources announced the aid, which will total almost $180 million. And it’s money that comes from the overall pool of federal COVID-19 relief funds.
“No child should ever have to worry about his or her next meal,” Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner said in an announcement about the fund. “These benefits will offer financial relief to countless families to help reduce the risk of child hunger. We are eager to build upon our successful partnership with USDA-FNS, ALSDE, and our advocates as we deliver these important resources to Alabama’s children.”
According to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, the P-EBT benefit provides eligible school children with temporary emergency nutrition benefits, loaded onto EBT cards that are used to buy food. “Children who would have received free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Act if their schools were not closed or operating with reduced hours or attendance for at least five consecutive days are eligible to receive P-EBT benefits,” the service explains.
New Child Tax Credit Stimulus Check
Meanwhile, another stimulus payment that flows from the “American Rescue Plan” is about to start showing up in bank accounts.
The sixth and final child tax credit payment is coming on December 15, closing out a monthly series of stimulus checks that began in July. Here’s what you need to know:
For most recipients, these checks will be the same as the previous five. They’ll provide a maximum of either $250 or $300 per eligible child in a household. This means that — all told, over the six checks — families will have gotten a maximum of either $1,500 or $1,800 per child.
Importantly, this might be the end of the monthly child tax credit checks. We should know whether that’s indeed the case by the end of this month. President Biden is pushing one more huge piece of legislation through the Senate, that’s currently still pending. Among its provisions? A proposed extension of these checks for another 12 months.
Still to come in 2022
Whether or not those checks get extended into 2022, though, here’s something else to be aware of.
There’s a second half to the child tax credit that’s coming next year. This year’s six monthly checks were merely an advance payment. The rest of it is coming as a tax credit next year when you file your federal tax return.
Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for a letter along these lines from the IRS. It will include details about the payments you got this year. And you’ll want to make sure the details in that letter match what you put on your federal tax return.