A claim has been spreading like wildfire on social media in recent days which taps into millions of people’s hope for a new stimulus payment. This claim purports to reveal that there will be a fourth stimulus check, worth at least $15,000 and handed out in clusters of several thousand dollars each.
Unfortunately, the claim that’s being spread thanks to sources like the LALATE YouTube channel is completely false. The channel has more than 400,000 subscribers so it’s easy to see why this fake news of a fourth stimulus check up to $15,000 spread so quickly. Even though Google Search trends volume is way up in recent days for search queries like “4th stimulus checks passed today,” there is actually no news to share on that front.
The federal government is still in the process of sending out the final child tax credit checks. Outside of that, there have only been three stimulus check payments. And it’s almost certain a fourth will not materialize by the end of this year.
Will there be a fourth stimulus check?
There have been three stimulus checks distributed to millions of Americans so far during the coronavirus pandemic. They include two under President Trump, for $1,200 and $600. President Biden signed legislation earlier this year that made a third stimulus check, for $1,400, possible.
There’s no indication at this point that the Biden White House has the stomach to fight for more stimulus payments. The president has not talked about them in a while, nor has his press secretary. The priority at the moment is spurring Congress to pass the administration’s big social spending bill and moving forward with Biden’s Build Back Better domestic agenda.
A few websites have also gone to the trouble of sharing an unattributed comment from the IRS — that, no, fourth stimulus checks are not imminent.
Child tax credit
As stated, what is coming are the two final checks in the six-check series of child tax credit payments. Those are giving families of eligible children a few hundred dollars each month. And there is talk of extending these monthly checks for one more year.
The two remaining checks are coming on November 15, with the final child tax credit payment arriving on December 15. On a related note, a companion benefit to these checks is also coming next year.
Normally, the child tax credit is just that — a tax credit that you get when filing your federal income taxes. However, Congress split it in half this year, giving recipients the first half as an up-front payment. But not a single payment — spread, instead, over six checks.
The second half is coming next year in the form of a normal tax credit. It will be for the same amount as recipients got in total, across all six payments, this year.