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Most Americans say they already need stimulus check #2

Published Apr 23rd, 2020 10:34PM EDT
Stimulus check
Image: Eric Gay/AP Images
  • The IRS has only recently begun sending out long-awaited stimulus direct deposit payments to Americans as part of the economic package Congress passed in March in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • While everyone is keeping an eye on the IRS’ stimulus check status tracker, however, it’s starting to become clear that the money everyone is waiting on now may not even be enough. In fact, most Americans say they’re having such a tough time that they already need a second round of stimulus checks.
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When Congress passed and President Trump subsequently signed into law the $2.2 stimulus legislation at the end of March that was meant to blunt some of the economic pain stemming from the coronavirus pandemic — and which provides for direct payments to most Americans, among other things — official Washington patted itself on the back for a job well done. They had moved fast and in dramatic fashion to get money out the door and into the hands of people who need it most, and who need it right now.

Only, things aren’t exactly working out that way. Not completely. If you haven’t gotten your stimulus payment from the IRS yet, perhaps because you’re waiting on a paper check to come in the mail as opposed to people who’ve already received theirs electronically via direct deposit — there’s some bad news. Check out this timeline from the Ways and Means Committee in the US House of Representatives: It says that paper checks started to be put into the mail this week, and they’ll be issued at the rate of about 5 million a week, which could end up taking about 20 weeks to get all of them sent out. Meaning, if you’re one of the unlucky ones near the back of the back, you might not get your paper stimulus check until September. And so, because of that delay, as well as the fact that many Americans don’t even think the checks themselves represent a big enough chunk of change (up to $1,200 for individuals, and $2,400 for married couples), many Americans now say they could probably go ahead and do with a second stimulus check at this point.

That’s according to two surveys, one from WalletHub and the other from retirement income company SimplyWise.  WalletHub surveyed 350 Americans and found that 84% want a second stimulus check, and a little less than half f those respondents said they need the money to pay for essentials like their rent or mortgage (which makes sense, since joblessness in the US has exploded to historic levels because of the consequences of the coronavirus).

SimplyWise’s data, meanwhile, found that 63% of respondents said they would probably need another stimulus check before summer. Its survey “found that 40% of Americans have had their income impacted (lost or reduced) by the coronavirus. Of those who have lost their jobs due to the virus, 43% are not confident that they will be employed within the next three months. For those still employed, 11% now consider their job ‘at risk.'”

Thus far, Congress hasn’t announced another stimulus package that would include funding for additional rounds of direct checks to Americans beyond what’s already been appropriated. However, this groundswell — and a growing wave of financial pain around the country — may eventually force a vote over additional direct payments. In fact, events may make the decision of congressional leaders for them along these lines:

Consider that in just one month, a historic level of Americans have filed for unemployment. Moreover, Federal Reserve economists are predicting we’ll eventually get to a more than 32% unemployment rate in the US, which would exceed the level seen during the Great Depression.

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.