The Stimulus Check and its Benefits for American Families

Emma Dennis, Editorial Board

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Most U.S families were granted a hefty amount of money through a check from the government, but why? A $1.9trillion relief bill was signed by President, Joe Biden on March 11th, 2021. This bill allowed for the third set of stimulus checks to be sent out to families who were eligible. The previous two bills were signed under former President, Donald Trump.

Stimulus Benefits

This fortune of a bill has been dubbed by Alan Rappeport from the New York Times; “the most ambitious anti-poverty program in a decade.” However, there are numerous benefits for the middle class included in the $1.9 trillion package. The American Rescue Plan, as it is known, incorporates several significant improvements to current tax policy to assist families of children who have been struggling to provide for them, as schools have been closed due to the pandemic. For families with a low income, this check is a great way to lift the weight off of their shoulders that money has laid on them.

Eligibility for the stimulus

Biden signed this bill aiming to bring additional relief to millions of Americans and their families. But who is eligible for this stimulus check? The concept of a qualified dependent has been broadened to include both children and adults of any age who meet the legal requirements. This is especially important for American families who meet the income limits to receive a $1,400 stimulus check. Eligible families will receive $1,400 per dependent, for a total of $5,600 for a family of four (two parents and two dependents).

How should families spend the check?

So what should families do with the essentially “free” money? Wealth advisors suggest that any family eligible for stimulus funds leave the money in their bank account for 30 days before making a decision. After brainstorming for those days, considering putting a percentage of the $5,600 stimulus payment into an emergency fund will significantly minimize stress the next time unexpected expenses arise. With vaccines being distributed, vacations are a more realistic option. Focusing the stimmy on a little getaway is very considerable for some.

Given that many families have had a difficult year financially, they may want to consider donating a portion of their $5,600 stimulus money. Look for a local food pantry or community group in your area where you can donate your money.