October 7, 2022

THOUSANDS of Americans will receive direct deposits of up to $3,200 next week.
Alaska passed a historic dividend program in June, combining the state's Permanent Fund with energy relief checks.
The first payment is $2,550, paying a dividend of Alaska's oil to their residents.
The second energy relief check is a one-time payment of $650 to offset inflation costs.
Alaskans will receive these two payments as a lump sum starting September 20.
Those opting out of direct deposits can expect their paper check after October 3.
Follow our live stimulus blog for more updates…
Minnesota got more applications than expected for cash program
Frontline workers in Minnesota had until July 22 to apply for a direct payment worth $750.
The checks were reserved for those that had worked on the frontline during the Covid pandemic.
Officials expected around 667,000 people to apply for the payments but the Duluth News Tribune revealed that at least 1.2million residents had submitted applications.
The volume of applicants means workers could receive a payment close to $400.
Struggling fathers to get funds
Struggling fathers in Columbia, South Carolina can get recurring support under a city program.
Last year, 100 low-income fathers in Columbia got debit cards worth $500.
They will keep getting those payments for several months. 
Rochester’s pot tax could pay for guaranteed income
The city of Rochester, New York is still in its exploratory stages for a guaranteed income program, the Sun recently reported.
In December 2021, the Rochester council approved a two-year pilot program.
The program aims to provide $500 payments to 175 low-income families for the first 12 months.
Then, in the following year, a different set of 175 Rochester families would get the $500 monthly payments.
The payments will go out to households at or below 200 percent below the federal poverty level.
Incoming Mayor Malik Evans backs the program, but he wants to explore using the cannabis tax as a source of revenue for the program.
Houston to send select residents $4,500
Eligible Houston, Texas residents were able to claim for cash under the city’s pilot UBI program which will give $375 a month for one year.
Houston residents experiencing economic hardship qualify for the program.
The full list of requirements is as follows:
A total of 110 people will be chosen through a selection process.
The Application window closed on May 25.
Gas relief proposed for Americans
Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative Ro Khanna have proposed a bill known as the Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax.
In the proposal, gas relief payments would be sent to lower-income Americans.
The funding would come from levying a per-barrel tax on major oil companies “equal to 50 percent of the difference between the current price of a barrel of oil and the pre-pandemic average price per barrel between 2015 and 2019,” a brief of the bill says according to Yahoo Finance.
Gas companies may face taxes on higher profits
“At $120 per barrel of oil, the levy would raise approximately $45billion per year,” Khanna told USA Today.
“At that price, single filers would receive approximately $240 each year and joint filers would receive roughly $360 each year.”
“If they avoid the tax, that’s less relief for the American public, but that means that their price will come down.”
However, Khanna said that the Democratic pair hasn’t gotten Republican representatives on board yet.
While this proposal may not succeed in Congress, the White House is considering imposing a windfall tax on oil and gas companies, per Reuters.
Many major oil producers have enjoyed record-high profits this year as gasoline prices soared.
How many stimulus programs have been launched?
There have been three federal stimulus programs since 2020.
The first included checks worth $1,200, the second was worth $600, and the third was worth $1,400. 
States have also implemented stimulus programs to aid American workers.
Recovery Rebate Credit eligibility, continued
If you didn’t get the first or second stimulus payments, you may be eligible to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit by filing a 2020 tax return.
The third Economic Impact Payment will not be used to calculate the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, according to the IRS.
More information about how to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit is available on the IRS website.
Recovery Rebate Credit eligibility
The eligibility requirements for the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit are the same as the third Economic Impact Payments requirements, except that credit eligibility and amount are based on your 2021 tax year information.
Third Economic Impact Payments were based on your 2019 or 2020 tax year information.
What is the Recovery Rebate Credit?
Some taxpayers were eligible to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit on 2021 federal tax returns if they didn’t get a third stimulus payment, or got less than the full amount.
The IRS sent Letter 6475 in early 2022 to addresses on file confirming the total amount of third payments and any plus-up payments received for the tax year 2021.
The information was needed to accurately calculate your 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit when you filed your 2021 federal tax return in 2022.
How a guaranteed income program helped Tacoma residents
Abigail Lawson, who is running Tacoma, Washington’s guaranteed income program, told NPR affiliate KNKX that most families are spending the money on basic needs.
“When I was onboarding one of our recipients, she and her daughter were houseless,” she said.
“And the last time that I chatted with them, they were in a safe apartment.”
Another recipient was able to take her mother to a family friend’s funeral across the county.
Others are saving for a down payment on a house, and one family with six kids was able to take them ice-staking.
“People are (just) trying to get ahead,” Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards told the outle
Study finds Americans financially struggling
According to CNBC, if an event like the pandemic “were to happen today, many people would still struggle financially.”
The Bipartisan Policy Center, the Funding Our Future group, and Morning Consult conducted a new survey, which yielded these results.
Considering that these government-issued direct transfers have all but disappeared, the poll found that 42 percent of working Americans are either very or somewhat financially insecure.
Financial stress causing Americans anxiety
States across the nation have been offering aid to their residents, many in the form of tax rebates.
However, since federal stimulus checks seemingly came to an end, Americans are reportedly feeling stressed.
According to the American Psychological Association’s latest Stress In America Survey, Americans are feeling anxious about their finances.
“Eighty-seven percent of Americans said that inflation and the rising costs of everyday goods is what’s driving their stress,” said Vaile Wright, senior director of health care innovation at the American Psychological Association.
Nearly half of Americans report negative mental health effects
According to Bankrate’s April 2022 Money and Mental Health report, over 40 percent of US adults state money is negatively impacting their mental health.
The top sources of stress are reportedly price spikes seen in gas prices, energy bills, and grocery costs.
Supply chain issues and global uncertainty are among other stressors reported.
Baltimore parents in line for $1,000, part two
The BYFSF provides 200 young parents, between 18 and 24 years old, a cash payment of $1,000 per month over 24 months.
To qualify, you must meet the following criteria:
Baltimore parents in line for $1,000
Baltimore parents will soon score relief in the form of monthly $1,000 payments for the next two years.
The payments are part of a guaranteed income pilot program implemented in Baltimore, Maryland, called the “Baltimore Young Families Success Fund” (BYFSF).
The city has identified, onboarded qualified recipients, and has now begun processing payments according to Baltimore’s Mayor, Brandon Scott.
Funds will appear in eligible recipients’ bank accounts or pay cards.
New York’s $234million food assistance
New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced that all New Yorkers enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will receive the maximum benefits for August.
All households including those already at the maximum level of benefits will receive extra money this month.
This is a roughly $234million infusion of federal funding into the New York State economy.
SNAP households in all counties outside of New York City will receive the boosted benefits by Friday, August 19.
Those SNAP households in the five-county New York City region should see their benefits between Tuesday, August 16, and Monday, August 29.
Calls for nationwide monthly payments
Representative Ilhan Omar called for monthly recurring payments to help families who have been financially crippled by the pandemic and the inflation that has followed.
Under her proposed plan, American adults who qualify would receive $1,200 monthly checks, while children would get $600.
The bill has been endorsed by Democrats Dwight Evans, Marie Newman, and Jamaal Bowman.
She isn’t alone in her mission though, over 20 other Democratic senators have reportedly pushed for recurring checks worth up to $2,000 to be introduced.
What is the LIHEAP program?
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program LIHEAP is federally funded and provides families with energy credits and payment help.
The program provides states with funds allocated to programs associated with home energy bills, energy crises, weatherization, and energy-related minor home repairs.
However, since the program is left up to the states, not every program provides assistance with cooling in the summer months.
Additionally, many states have similar programs but they tend to vary depending on multiple factors like income level, type of energy used, and others.
As it’s a grant, the cash doesn’t have to be repaid.
How the stimulus check has changed
After the federal government sent out three stimulus checks, it was largely left up to states to decide if they wanted to continue the program.
Since then, several states have used surplus funds from federal pandemic-era aid to continue helping their residents, according to Fortune.
These financial offerings vary from state to state, coming in the form of one-time payments, tax rebates, and tax credits.
The amount each state gives out ranges from just a few hundred dollars to thousands.
Calls for seniors to get stimulus
Inflation has hit older Americans hard.
The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) recently noted that Social Security claimant’s buying power has been slashed by 40 percent.
In October, Rick Delaney, chairman of the TSCL called on Congress to provide aid to retirees. 
“We believe that a special stimulus for Social Security recipients could help defray the higher costs some would face if next year’s [cost-of-living adjustment] bumps them into a higher tax bracket, causing higher tax rates on their income and surcharges to their Medicare Part B premiums,” Delaney wrote in a letter to the national legislative body.
Although lobbying efforts have continued into this year, seniors should not expect another stimulus check, GoBankingRates reported.
Low-income families would benefit most from UBI
Most UBI programs are targeted at certain groups, specifically low and middle-class families.
A UBI program would generally only help those groups.
The additional income wouldn’t affect higher earners because it wouldn’t necessarily be high enough to provide the extra support they need.
The closest thing to UBI that would help the most people is the current Child Tax Credit system.
Minnesota families share how UBI changed their lives
In 2020, St. Paul, Minnesota, launched a guaranteed income program for 150 families.
They received $500 for 18 months.
For Andrea Coleman, a single mom working part-time as a home care nurse, the program was life-changing.
“Because of [guaranteed basic income], if the people I cared for could not take care of me, I knew that I could give them a break,” Coleman told PRISM.
“I could take the work I needed, and still focus on caring for my family.”
Researchers study UBI in Washington
In Tacoma, Washington, 110 families began receiving $500 monthly checks in December.
Their payments will continue through the end of the year.
Dona Ponepinto, president and CEO of United Way of Pierce County, said told K5, an NBC affiliate, that researchers are tracking the families to see how they spend their cash.
Ponepinto said they hope to demonstrate the impact of guaranteed income and provide lawmakers with a roadmap and information to create long-term guaranteed income legislation.
Checking the status of Pennsylvania summer payment
You’ll need your:
With that knowledge, accessing the Where’s My Rebate service will allow you to verify your status quickly and easily.
With the rebate scheme, more than 440,000 seniors in Pennsylvania will receive around $213million in 2020.
Since the program’s inception in 1971, it has distributed a total of more than $7.3billion.
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