A second coronavirus relief bill is expected to be passed by Congress today. As part of this new package, most Americans will receive a $600 Economic Impact Payment ($1,200 for couples) and $600 per each eligible child (a dependent under the age of 17 who has a social security number). As we did beginning in April (and through the summer months), Community Action will frequently post details (here on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter) about how to claim (if required) and receive your stimulus payment as soon as possible (once that information is available). This will include instructions for non-filers and those that receive Social Security (SSA), Railroad Retirement Benefits (RRB), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Veterans Benefits (VA).
In addition to the Economic Impact Payments (EIP), this new relief package also includes a temporary $300 per week supplemental unemployment benefit, along with financial assistance to businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, the healthcare industry, schools, and renters who are facing eviction. And, while this bill will provide much needed relief for many American households, small businesses, and other institutions, numerous experts and government officials have cited the critical need for additional supports to Americans, and soon.
Since this summer alone, almost 8 million Americans have fallen below the poverty threshold, the swiftest increase since the federal poverty guidelines were established six-decades ago. Moreover, housing inequality and homelessness are on the rise, and, as CNBC reports, the crises that millions of American households currently face “run much deeper than COVID,” as many long-term hardships have only been exacerbated by the pandemic and won’t be alleviated by this new relief package (or, for that matter, the next).