At last, we have an official answer to a stimulus-related question that many people have been asking: Will there be a fourth stimulus check?
The answer is clear, albeit not necessarily as straightforward as people would like. That’s because, no, lawmakers have not approved another broad-based stimulus payment along the lines of the first three stimulus checks. Tens of millions of Americans, across almost all demographics, were eligible for those payments. This time, however, the government is talking about a one-time $600 check. And only for a few specific groups — such as meatpacking workers, and grocery store employees.
Will there be a fourth stimulus check?
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made this announcement a few weeks ago — that a fourth stimulus payment is indeed coming for some people. The funding that makes it possible? It actually came from the so-called American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion legislation from earlier this year that authorized the $1,400 stimulus checks everyone got several months ago.
That legislation also supported a $700 million program that’s funding this fourth stimulus check. The money is going to farmworkers, meatpacking workers, and grocery store employees, though it’s unclear at this point how much exactly the latter will get.
“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 in a news release about the forthcoming payment. “They deserve recognition for their resilience.”
Other details to know
While this does answer the question about a fourth stimulus check coming soon, there are still other components of this that we don’t actually have details for yet.
Vilsack, for example, announced this new payment. A Biden official, in other words, but the payment won’t come from the federal government like previous stimulus checks. The plan this time is for the money to come from state agencies, tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations. We also don’t know when this process will be completed.
On a related note, don’t forget that in another 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 quasi-stimulus checks are giving parents with eligible children a few hundred extra dollars each month. In September, the IRS said the child tax credit checks it sent out for the month totaled around $15 billion. This is a significant amount of money, in other words, coming on a regular basis from the federal government through the end of this year.