The federal government has been transferring a historically massive amount of money from its coffers into the bank accounts of US taxpayers this year. To the tune of billions of dollars, mostly in the form of stimulus checks. It did just that again earlier this month, in fact, with the latest child tax credit that sent some $15 billion to eligible taxpayers — and three more of those checks are coming through December. Meantime, don’t let the latest stimulus update trick you into thinking that there’s only a certain kind or a certain amount of money the federal government is handing out right now.
Truth is, there’s a lot more money going out at the moment than you might think. We’ll take a closer look at just some of those kinds of payments in addition to stimulus checks below.
Stimulus update — here’s who’s getting new checks
Let’s start with one we wrote about yesterday. Workers in a couple of different US industry sectors are poised to get a one-time $600 stimulus check. 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 checks to workers in 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. US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the new relief effort this month. In remarks to reporters, he’s said that these new checks are “a reflection of the essential nature of the work (the workers) performed in the pandemic.”
Other non-stimulus checks
Meanwhile, here are a few other checks and payments that some Americans will be getting soon (if they haven’t already).
Social Security recipients are expected to get a cost-of-living adjustment of as much as 6% in 2022. A group called the Senior Citizens League has also started collecting signatures for a petition calling on Congress to approve $1,400 stimulus checks just for seniors. More details are here.
There’s also a health insurance rebate that Americans should be aware of.
Per the terms of the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies have to spend 80% of premiums on claims and related expenses, while no more than 20% can go toward paying overhead costs. If a large group insurance plan has more than 50 employees, those percentages are 85% and 15%.
Insurers who don’t hit those percentages? They have to send a rebate out to plan participants, which can either be as a credit or a check. In 2021, The Kaiser Family Foundation expects this number to be $2.1 billion, sent out to 10.7 million people.