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Fourth stimulus check worth $600 is available, but there’s a deadline to apply

Published Dec 27th, 2021 2:14PM EST
a pile of cash
Image: SkyLine/Adobe

President Biden’s new stimulus check legislation might have hit a roadblock earlier this month, but there’s also a glass-half-full way of considering the situation — if you look closely enough.

That legislation, the nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better act, includes a provision funding another year of stimulus checks. The monthly child tax credit payments, to be exact. Democrats in Congress plan to try again to pass it in early 2022 — but there are still no guarantees. Meanwhile, here’s one bit of good news for anyone still keen on getting new stimulus checks. Just because Congress hasn’t funded new child tax credit payments yet? That doesn’t close the door on any new stimulus payments for the time being. States and cities around the country, for example, can certainly pass … whatever they want to on this score.

Stimulus check deadline approaching

So, for that matter, can other agencies within the federal government. In fact, the deadline for one such stimulus check is fast approaching. For state agencies and nonprofits, though — individuals can’t directly apply for this particular payment.

This one is a $600 check as part of the Farm and Food Worker Relief Grant Program. Per the US Agriculture Department, “Entities receiving awards will then distribute relief payments to frontline farmworkers and meatpacking workers who incurred expenses preparing for, preventing exposure to, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“USDA strongly encourages small organizations to partner together or to partner with national organizations in submitting applications to ensure this support has the broadest reach and distribution possible to America’s farm and food workers.”

Of the total pot of money, $20 million is also going toward a grant or grants for grocery store workers. And February 8, 2022, is the date that participating agencies need to circle on their calendar.

Essential workers

These funds making a new stimulus check possible are meant to benefit a specific group of Americans. They’re the essential workers in everything from grocery stores to meatpacking facilities who made it possible for millions more Americans to stay home and to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, because of the nature of the work these people do on a day-to-day basis, there was a need for them to be physically present and often in close proximity to each other. You can’t stock grocery store shelves, for example, via a remote work arrangement. These new stimulus payments are thus meant as a kind of bonus and a well-deserved “thank you” for work during the coronavirus pandemic.

How it works

The way these stimulus check distributions will work:

As noted above, a key deadline is coming up fast. State agencies and nonprofit groups will apply for a chunk of the Farm and Food Worker Relief Grant Program funds. And they’ll need to do so by the end of the day on February 8, 2022. Those entities can learn more about how to apply here.

Individual stimulus check recipients will then apply for a payment from those entities at some point in 2022.

In announcing this effort in the fall, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said these Americans deserve our thanks for the work they did during the pandemic. “They deserve recognition for their resilience and financial support for their efforts to meet personal and family needs while continuing to provide essential services.

“This grant program is another component of this administration’s efforts to ensure assistance to alleviate the effects of the pandemic is distributed to those who need it most.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis 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.

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