Congress has sent three rounds of stimulus checks since the start of the pandemic so far. More stimulus checks seem unlikely, but there are still several federal benefits that people can avail themselves of this year. These federal benefits could offer a similar level of support as the federal coronavirus stimulus checks. With the new COVID-19 variant still a concern, these federal benefits could offer much needed support to those still struggling financially due to the pandemic.
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The very first federal benefit that many families can get is the child tax credit. Yes, the IRS sent monthly installments of the CTC payment to eligible families last year (from July through December), but it was only half the credit.
Due to the changes in 2021 to the US Child Tax Credit system, eligible families got half the child tax credit money in advance in monthly installments. Families will be able to claim the other half of the credit when they file their tax return this year. So, eligible families could still get as much as $1,800 when they file their tax returns this year.
Medicare is another federal benefit that could prove extremely beneficial. This federal health insurance program supports citizens who are 65 years of age or above. It is also available to younger people with disabilities, as well as people with end-stage renal disease. Eligible people can easily sign up for the program through any doctor or healthcare provider enrolled in Medicare.
Tax Refunds Could Give You Money
Other federal money that could offer relief to some Americans is the IRS tax refunds. The IRS was forced to delay the 2020 tax returns due to COVID-19. This year, however, the agency is unlikely to delay the tax filing deadline.
For most filers, the last day to file a 2021 tax return is April 18, 2022. Some filers can apply for a six-month extension, but they need to apply for the extension before April 18 to avoid any fines.
If you file the return online, you can check the status of your return after just 24 hours. You can use the IRS2Go app or Where's My Refund or IRS.gov, to check the status of your refund. In case you file your return by mail, then you have to wait for about four weeks to get an update on your tax return status.
Unemployment benefits are another aid that may be available to some workers. Though the federal unemployment benefits ended in September 2021, workers could still claim the unemployment benefits that their states usually offer.
Similarly, federal stimulus checks may have ended but people may still get stimulus checks from their state governments. Several state and local governments have come up with different ways to offer relief to their citizens, such as California’s Golden State Stimulus program.