New COVID stimulus checks are on their way for some U.S. workers

New COVID stimulus checks are on their way for some U.S. workers

After a long year and a half, many Americans are hoping the worst economic pain from the pandemic is behind them. But some of the hardest hit workers whose jobs are seen as essential are still in shock.

Many of them have had to dip into their own funds to pay for protective equipment or childcare services. Now, to help with these spending, the government intends to offer financial relief through primarily targeted stimulus checks.

Payments will be made through a new $ 700 million Biden administration program. You may be entitled to cash that could help you pay your household bills or pay off your debts.

Money for the workers who fed the United States

Workers handle the packaging shipment of meat at the plant.

El Nariz / Shutterstock

People who work on farms and in meat packing plants can receive money made available through the Farm and Food Workers Relief grant program, which was announced earlier this month.

The US Department of Agriculture says grocers are also eligible to receive a share of the funding.

Americans eligible for payments work in food-related industries where sheltering in place or working from home was not an option.

Unlike more conventional stimulus checks, new ones are not distributed by the IRS but by state agencies, nonprofits, and tribal entities. They will ask for funds and then distribute the money to the workers.

Checks can be worth hundreds of dollars

Farm workers picking strawberries in a field

F Armstrong Photography / Shutterstock

Farm workers and meat packers are entitled to up to $ 600 for pandemic health and safety costs, including personal protective equipment, child care and related expenses to testing or quarantine, according to the USDA.

Some $ 20 million of the $ 700 million pooled has been set aside for grocery store employees. But the size of their individual checks is unclear.

“Our farm laborers, meat packers and grocers have overcome unprecedented challenges and taken significant personal risks to ensure that Americans can feed and support their families throughout the world. pandemic, “Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a press release.

“They deserve to be recognized for their resilience and financial support for their efforts to meet personal and family needs while continuing to provide essential services,” said Vilsack.

Other pandemic relief is still available

Dad and daughter save money in a piggy bank / Shutterstock

This new round of aid is tightly targeted. If you are one of the millions who are still struggling and you are not a farm worker, meat packer or grocery store worker, other pandemic programs that are still open could give you a financial boost.

  • The expanded child tax credit offers families up to $ 3,600 per child through a combination of prepayments now and tax refunds next year. But there are only a few weeks left to sign up for the money, so parents will want to act fast.

  • More than $ 46 billion in emergency rent assistance has been released thanks to the last two stimulus bills. By the end of August, only 11% of the allocated funds had been distributed.

  • Another $ 10 billion has been set aside to help homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages.

What to do if you need a little more stimulation ASAP

Couple sitting on the sofa at home, looking at their financial statements, stressed.

David Prado Perucha / Shutterstock

Can’t see a program that could help you? Whether your budget feels a bit tight these days or you can just use a little extra spending money, you have a few options for creating your own stimulus.

  • Manage your debt. Credit can be convenient, but having a balance on your card will end up charging you expensive interest. Solve the problem by consolidating your balances into one debt consolidation loan. With a lower interest rate, not only will you reduce the cost of your debt, but you will also be able to pay it off faster.

  • Trade in your mortgage. If you own your home and haven’t refinanced in the past year, you are long overdue. Nearly half of homeowners who took advantage of the pandemic’s historically low mortgage rates are now saving $ 300 a month or more, according to a recent Zillow survey. 30-year mortgage rates are below 3% again, so check out some refinancing offers to see how much you could save.

  • Lower your insurance costs. You could be paying hundreds of dollars too much for auto insurance this year if you haven’t looked for a better rate lately. A little price comparison could help you find a much cheaper policy. And you can use the same strategy when it comes to renewing or purchasing home insurance.

  • Turn your money into a wallet. Even if you don’t have a lot of money, you can still get some returns in today’s scorching stock market. A popular app can help you invest your “coin” from your daily purchases, turning them into a diverse portfolio in no time.

This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is provided without warranty of any kind.

About Scott Conley

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