A fourth federal stimulus check is finally coming, but it’s not for everyone. These fourth coronavirus stimulus checks will cover specific workers who were hit hard by the pandemic. Such workers would get up to $600 stimulus checks as part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) grant program.
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The Farm and Food Workers Relief (FFWR) grant program sets aside $700 million to support farm and food workers impacted by the pandemic.
This program will be funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which supports community development financial institutions that cater to minority communities. The state agencies, tribal entities and nonprofits can apply for the grant under the program.
Such entities, however, will need to prove that they are capable of reaching the hard-to-reach populations either directly or through local organizations. The institutions that will get funds under the program will, in turn, be responsible for distributing those funds to eligible farm workers and meatpacking employees.
“This grant program is another component of this administration’s efforts to ensure assistance to alleviate the effects of the pandemic is distributed to those who need it most,” USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) said in a press release.
Employees, who incurred expenses in preparation for or preventing exposure to the coronavirus pandemic can get up to $600 in stimulus payment. Those who wish to apply for the grant can submit an application to the Department of Agriculture through www.grants.gov. The application process is expected to start in the fall.
Front-line grocery workers also eligible
Of the $700 million for farm and food workers, $20 million will be for a pilot program. This pilot program would support front-line grocery workers to cover coronavirus pandemic related expenses, such as the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), expenses for COVID-19 testing or quarantine and dependent care.
The eligible farm workers and meatpacking employees would get up to $600, but it isn’t clear how much the front-line grocery workers will get.
Though the funding for the program comes from the federal government, the IRS won’t be responsible for distributing the funds. Rather, the state agencies, nonprofits and tribal entities will be responsible for distributing the payment. These institutions will first need to apply for the funds, and then distribute them to the workers.
Those who aren’t eligible for payment under the Farm and Food Workers Relief program can still get benefits from other federal programs. Two such programs are the expanded child tax credit and the emergency rental assistance program.
The expanded child tax credit provides eligible families with up to $3,600 per child through a combination of monthly payments (from July to December) and a lump sum payment at the time of filing a tax return next year.