Congress doesn’t seem to believe that there is a need for more stimulus checks. Many people, however, do feel the need for more stimulus payments and that is why the stimulus check petition on Change.org continues to gain supporters. Apart from this petition, a recent study also stresses the need for more stimulus checks. This coronavirus stimulus check study reveals that new payments could prove extremely critical for lowest-income Americans still struggling due to the pandemic.
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A study by Capital One Insights Center notes that though the three stimulus checks sent so far proved to be a lifeline for millions of Americans, it wasn’t enough. Many people are now struggling again to meet their needs as several stimulus programs have either expired or are not available anymore.
For instance, the unemployment benefits expired last month, but many states ended this benefit months before the September expiry date. Also, a Supreme Court ruling ended the eviction moratoriums well before the announced date.
As per the study, those suffering the most are the lowest income earners with an income of less than $25,000. Many people reported a massive income loss in the spring of last year, and the situation hasn’t changed much for the lowest income earners even now.
As per the study, the lower third of earners are still reporting 32-36% income loss. Also, underemployment is still over 12% among Black and Hispanic/Latinx workers. Further, the study found that the debt levels were higher for one in five respondents in the spring of 2021 than before the start of the pandemic.
What Hardships Are People Facing?
Talking about how the stimulus checks have helped so far, 46% of lower earners say that had there been no $1,400 third stimulus check, they would have struggled to pay for many expenses, such as mortgage, credit card and utility bills, the survey found.
Further, a third of the low earner group says that by August 2021, they were forced to borrow money from friends and family, in order to pay their bills. The third stimulus check was approved in March this year.
Moreover, childcare costs have also made life difficult for many. About half of the low income earning group responded that they were either forced to reduce their work hours or quit their job to take care of their kids.
It is not just the low income earners that are facing hardships, the middle-income earners, (earning between $25,000-$100,000) are also affected, especially the ones with child care costs. The survey found that 30% of the group is cutting back on work. Also, about 18% of the high-income earners (those making more than $100,000) are facing similar concerns as well.
Thus, the above findings show that the stimulus checks and other assistance have been enormously helpful in mitigating the financial hardships of many. Now that another stimulus check is very unlikely, concerns are high that many may face financial hardships again, especially senior citizens.