The majority of Americans have received their third round of stimulus payments by now, and if they haven’t, the IRS has released a number of tools to help people check on, and/or track, the status of their third stimulus payments.
But while the vaccine rollout has been moving along smoothly, the pandemic is far from over. And with unemployment numbers remaining high, many are wondering if a fourth stimulus check could be coming next. While a number of lawmakers in Congress are fighting to make the 4th stimulus check, or recurring checks, a reality, it could be more pipe dream than reality, even though a 4th stimulus check could lift 7 million people out of poverty, according to estimates from the Urban Institute.
Here’s what we know about what a 4th stimulus could do — and why it probably won’t happen.
What Would a Fourth Stimulus Check Do?
The Urban Institute estimates that 28 million Americans are currently living in poverty, putting the overall poverty rate at 8.7 percent. The third round of stimulus payments played a huge role in that number being as low as it is, as an estimated 44 million (which represents a 13.7 percent overall poverty rate) would have been living in poverty without it.
An additional $1,400 stimulus payment would make an even larger dent in America’s poverty rate, with estimates suggesting that an additional 7.3 million Americans would be able to escape falling below the poverty line. This would drop the overall poverty rate to between 6.4-6.6 percent.
Could A 4th STimulus Happen?
While the benefits of another stimulus payment are fairly obvious, the unfortunate reality is that another round is unlikely to actually happen. Why? The biggest reason is the lack of bipartisanship support, as Republican lawmakers remain almost universally opposed to a fourth round of stimulus checks. There has been public support from certain Democratic politicians; however, the Biden administration has not publicly acknowledged that support, and hasn’t included plans for direct payments in their most recent budget release or their talk of infrastructure, Biden’s new and big focus.
The reality is there would likely be a stronger push for an additional payment from the Biden administration if it did not appear that the pandemic is slowly coming to an end. That is in large part due to the vaccination rollout, as more than 45 percent of Americans over the age of 18 have received at least one vaccine dose.
Signs of the U.S. economy recovering have already begun to appear and given how difficult it was for Democrats to get the third payment through, the Biden administration is not expected to endure another fight that would likely be even messier. So, unless another COVID wave hits that extends the pandemic indefinitely, a fourth stimulus payment probably isn’t coming.
Haven’t Gotten Your Plus-Up Payment/Stimulus Check?
If you have not yet received your third stimulus payment, the IRS has a tool called Get My Payment that should let you know when you’ll be getting that sweet, sweet stimmy. To access it, you’ll need to provide your Social Security or Individual Tax Identification Number, birthday, and the street address and ZIP code from your last tax return. Then the Get My Payment tool will let you know the date the IRS scheduled your payment to be deposited.
If applicable, you will also get the last four digits of the bank account it will be deposited to. And if you are not set to receive the stimulus payment via direct deposit, you’ll receive a stimulus check or a prepaid debit card.