On Thursday, March 11th, 2021, President Joseph Biden signed a $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill into law.
The relief bill, called the American Rescue Plan, includes the following relief packages as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the United States: a one-time $1,400 stimulus payment for most Americans and their dependents; an additional $300 per week for unemployed Americans until September 6, 2021; child tax credit expansion; $20 billion for vaccination manufacturing; a 15% SNAP benefit increase; and, $25 billion for mortgage, utility and rental aid. The bill also features $20 billion dollars to increase the vaccination supply so that “every adult in America” can have access to the vaccine, according to the White House.
What the one-time $1,400 stimulus payment means for you
The one-time stimulus checks are for individuals earning up to $75,000, heads of households earning $112,500, and married couples earning $150,000 jointly. Their dependents, no matter what age, will also receive up to $1,400. Payments are reduced for people and families earning more than these limits.
The stimulus money will go first -- and fastest -- to those whose direct deposit bank account information is on file with the IRS, usually within a two-week timeframe after the bill has passed. Other payments, like debit card and paper check payments, will be sent out and probably arriving in April or May.
If you have not received your stimulus payment last December (or the first round of $1,200 payments last spring), you can still claim it as a tax credit. However, you have to file a tax return to get it, even if you have low or no income. If you earn less than $72,000, you can file your federal income tax for free, following this link to the IRS free file. If you have no taxable income, go to the IRS website for more information on claiming your stimulus money.
Democrats managed to pass this relief bill without a single Republican vote. The bill is considered necessary by many Democrats, as more than 20 million Americans remain unemployed and others struggle with access to food and housing.
If you are in Atlanta and in need of COVID or HIV testing, housing, food or other resources, please see SisterLove’s Community Resource Guide for help.