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How many stimulus checks were issued in 2021?

HOUSEHOLDS have been given stimulus checks worth thousands of dollars during the coronavirus crisis.

We explain all you need to know about the number of stimulus checks issued, and whether there are plans to send out more in the future.

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We explain what you need to know about the number of stimulus checks issuedCredit: Getty

What is a coronavirus stimulus check?

The first round of checks was a part of the $2.2trillion economic relief package passed by Congress in March 2020.

The package was an initial response to the economic impact of COVID-19.

In March 2021, President Joe Biden then signed the $1.9trillion American Rescue Act into law.

The latest round of cash begins to be phased out for individual taxpayers who earn $75,000 a year.

But once you hit the $80,000 annual gross income (AGI) limit, you won't be eligible for the help at all.

Like the single-taxpayer cut-off, there's a $120,000 AGI cap on how much heads of households can earn to be eligible for the help.

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Who's eligible for the latest stimulus check?

THERE is certain criteria that must be met in order to claim your third stimulus check.

You could be entitled to a payment if the following is true:

  • You are not a dependent of another taxpayer
  • You have a Social Security number valid for employment

Your adjusted gross income (AGI) must also not exceed:

  • $160,000 if married and filing a joint return
  • $120,000 if filing as head of household or
  • $80,000 for single applicants

A head of household is a single-taxpayer who claims a dependent.

You'll get a reduced payment if you earn between $112,500 and $120,000 AGI. Anyone earning less will qualify for the full amount.

Married couples who file their taxes jointly and have a combined income of $160,000 AGI or more won't be eligible for the third stimulus check.

How many stimulus checks have been issued?

The government has so far issued three rounds of stimulus checks.

The first "economic impact payment" was worth up to $1,200 and given to low-income households in 2020.

This was then followed by a second payment worth up to $600 at the beginning of 2021.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has sent a third round of cash support, which is worth up to $1,400, to hundreds of millions of Americans.

As of December 2021, the IRS had issued more than 175million stimulus checks worth $400billion under the third round of federal stimulus.

However, some Americans might still be owed $1,400 checks.

In fact, millions of Americans might get federal stimulus payments during the tax season this year.

This includes the following groups of Americans:

  • Parents who had a baby in 2021
  • Families who added a dependent on their 2021 tax return
  • Individuals and couples who earned more than $80,000 and $160,000, respectively, in 2020 but less than that amount in 2021
  • Eligible family members who passed away in 2021 and did not receive their full stimulus payment

In 2020, the IRS issued 162million stimulus checks.

More than 147million second-round stimulus checks have been issued, according to the IRS.

State and city stimulus

Some states have also given out extra stimulus payments, including California and Maine, with many using funds from the Rescue Act.

In 2021, California launched two-state stimulus programs: the Golden State Stimulus I and Golden State Stimulus II.

These stimulus checks are worth up to $1,200 and $1,100, respectively.

Furthermore, the state recently issued about 139,000 stimulus checks.

Moreover, California plans to send out up to another 70,000 stimulus checks starting mid-March.

Those getting paper checks need to allow up to three weeks for them to arrive.

Eligible Maine residents received $285 stimulus payments until the end of 2021, and it's unclear if this will continue into 2022.

Another city in California, Santa Ana, started sending out $300 payments loaded on prepaid Visa debit cards last year.

"So far about 2,700 have been distributed and we plan to give out up to the full 20,000 cards either in person or notifying qualified residents by mail to pick them up," a Santa Ana official told The Sun in December.

According to a statement by the city, those with poverty rates above the Santa Ana median of 42% will qualify for the support.

Low-income residents in Seattle, Washington can get a stimulus check worth up to $3,000 - but the deadline to apply was November 15.

These checks have gone out to nearly 9,400 residents.

Also, thousands of St Louis, Missouri residents were able to claim a $500 stimulus check in December.

However, applications for the moment are paused and the city will keep the public informed on any potential future reopening of its portal.

Meanwhile, the deadline to claim a $4,000 stimulus check in New Jersey has passed.

If your application is approved, a special message with a unique username and password will be used for an attached link to take you to the method of payment: check or direct deposit.

The one-time benefit will be delivered two to three weeks after your application is approved.

Will there be more stimulus checks in future?

As things currently stand, a fourth federal stimulus round appears to be unlikely.

Currently, Mr Biden's Build Back Better Agenda does not include stimulus payments.

And last May, White House secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the stimulus checks “were not free” and that another round wasn’t in Biden’s plans. 

Along with getting Biden on board, two corporate Democrats Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema would need to get convinced as well.

This is unlikely because the US is dealing with inflation, as there is huge consumer demand that the supply is not meeting.

Stimulus checks serve the purpose of giving taxpayers a financial boost during an economic downturn.

And that isn't happening at the moment.

But there has been some mounting pressure to do so.

In fact, 50 Democratic members of the House of Representatives wrote a letter suggesting recurring direct checks, also known as universal basic income.

It read: “Another one-time round of checks would provide a temporary lifeline, but when that money runs out, families will once again struggle to pay for basic necessities.

"One more check is not enough during this public health and economic crisis.”

It was backed by US Representative for New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Minnesota's Ilhan Omar.

Democrats have backed a figure of $2,000, although there aren't currently any official bills debating a fourth round of checks.

In addition, a petition for recurring monthly $2,000 stimulus checks recently passed three million signatures.

And a fourth check may not pass the Senate and Congress, with the latest package only clearing the Senate by a 50-49 party-line vote.

The chamber was also deadlocked, divided at 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris' breaking the tie last time around.

It's also important to note that stimulus checks have been quite popular among the American people.

According to Morning Consult and Politico poll in March 2021, nearly four in five Americans supported the $1,400 stimulus checks.

But while a fourth federal stimulus check seems unlikely, it's possible some might offer more direct payments to its resident.

For example, a lawmaker in California recently said that the state's budget surplus is enough to give every resident another $1,100 payment.

We explain how to track down the latest $1,400 stimulus check.

Meanwhile, this stimulus check calculator will let you know exactly how much you're owed.

The government has warned households that crooks may try to steal payments using methods including fraud and phishing.

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