Stimulus Check Update: Will Federal Government Put Up Alternative To Stimulus Checks In 2023?

stimulus check
Stimulus Check

For the second year in a row, Americans are not getting a stimulus check as the federal government has revealed no plans to issue another. So a fourth round of payments remains a pipe dream for Americans despite prices remaining at record highs throughout 2022.

The Biden administration could not get a stimulus check passed in 2022, though it was not for lack of trying. A majority in both chambers of Congress could not be taken advantage of as Senator Joe Manchin did not support Biden’s proposal of extending stimulus checks into 2022.

He even did not support the extension of the enhanced child tax credit stimulus check, a key component of the Build Back Better legislation. He used the addition of a work requirement for parents as an excuse to undercut the scheme, though the real reason was that he was backed by vested interests who were bent upon scuttling the CTC stimulus checks.

Democrats continue to need all fifty senators on board to pass the legislation via the reconciliation process, and the Senators from West Virginia have consistently been a holdout in getting the social spending act passed.

Other Democrats, including Biden, oppose the work requirement for parents as it would leave out the neediest children. In particular, it has the potential to exclude grandparents who care for their grandchildren while living on a fixed income like the Social Security payment. Some parents are still students or are disabled and unable to work.

In addition to the work requirement, Joe Manchin has additionally called for a household income cap of around $60,000 to be eligible for the credit stimulus check. But the specifics of the Child Tax Credit stimulus check were not revealed.

But it was clear that the requirement would eliminate the poorest of Americans who would be excluded from the list of beneficiaries of this stimulus check. But they are ostensibly the main target beneficiaries of the enhanced CTC stimulus checks.

CTC Stimulus Checks Were Made Fully Refundable For The First Time Under Rescue Plan

The CTC stimulus checks were made fully refundable to help reduce child poverty in the US. That means that even if parents had no income they would qualify for the enhanced payments.

That particular constituent of the law alone accounted for over 80% of the reduction recorded in poverty among children and their families. This was revealed by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Now the CTC for 2022 is back to the pre-pandemic level of $2,000 for each dependent under seventeen. This compares unfavorably to the $3,000 to $3,600 for all dependents under eighteen.

Democrats have tried multiple times to pass a version of the enhanced Child Tax Credit stimulus check. President Biden had initially planned to stretch the enhanced version of this immensely successful stimulus check right through 2025. But the initial opposition from the Republicans, followed by internal disagreement in the form of Senator Joe Manchin, scuttled all chances of extending the enhanced CTC stimulus check.

As a consequence, the whole of 2022 went by without a single stimulus check from the federal government. It was left to the state government to come up with inflation relief stimulus checks that lasted the whole of 2022. But the payment was mostly one-time tax rebates or stimulus checks and never matched the largesse of the federal payments.

The record inflation put households under immense financial pressure, especially for low and moderate-income families and individuals. And the payments were limited to around 20 of the 50 states.

Most states relied on the American Rescue Plan Act funds, sanctioned by President Biden in March 2021 immediately after he came to power. While most states made it a one-time affair, some states have come up with more measures to help out low and moderate-income households. Residents in a handful of states are still in line for a tax rebate stimulus check or other payments in 2023.

There is still a section of the population in some states who still might get a check. How large the stimulus check will be and the exact timing of the stimulus check will vary with states. For now, the information released by such states is limited to basic details.

California Among States That Have Continued Stimulus Checks In 2023

California and Colorado are some of the states who have started giving out stimulus checks to residents in the last quarter of 2022 and have continued into the first quarter of 2023.

Residents of California received the Middle-Class Tax Refunds, the third round of stimulus checks from the Golden State following the pandemic.

The payments went out to residents who filed the 2020 state tax return by October 15, 2021. Their Adjusted Gross Income for that year (2020) also should not have exceeded certain income limits. The maximum allowed is $250,000 for individual filers and double that amount for married couples filing jointly.

Such claimants also should not be claimed as dependent on someone else’s filing for the 2020 tax year and should be California residents for at least 6 months in 2020.

The amount of the stimulus check under this scheme varies between $200 to $350 for individuals and the same amount for dependents, depending on the income tier of each family or individual. The maximum amount payable under this scheme is $1,050 for joint filers with an adjusted gross income of $150,000 or less for the state income tax returns for 2020. The amount is arrived at by calculating $350 each for each filer plus another $350 for one dependent. The maximum allowed for each family is one dependent.

The Colorado Cash Back program is for residents who are eighteen years or older as of December 31, 2021. They should also have been a resident of the state for all of 2021. Further, they should have filed the income tax returns for Colorado for 2021 or should have applied for a state PTC Rebate (property tax, rent, and heat credit rebate).

The amount depends on the filing states as shown on the state tax returns for 2021. It is $750 for individual filers and double that amount for joint filers.