Early October Could Bring a Round of Stimulus Checks to Some Americans

A man holding his baby while opening a mailbox and removing an envelope.

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Are you getting a windfall next month?

Key points

  • Inflation has put a strain on many household budgets.
  • Some people should soon get relief thanks to state-funded rebate checks.

For months on end, Americans have been struggling with sky-high living costs. Inflation has made it so that everything from clothing to food to utilities are more expensive. And households that depleted their savings during the pandemic are now being forced to make hard choices.

Now earlier on in the pandemic, there were several rounds of stimulus checks that served as a lifeline for those who were struggling. But at the time, lawmakers were able to justify those payments on the basis of unemployment being high on a national scale.

These days, unemployment levels are low – low enough that they’re basically where they were before the pandemic began. And while some financial experts have been warning of a recession, which could lead to widespread layoffs, we’re not there yet, and plenty of companies are, in fact, still hiring. As such, it’s hard to make the case for another federal round of stimulus checks.

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But some states are stepping in to offer residents relief in the face of sky-high living costs. And residents of one state in particular could see a stimulus payment arrive early next month.

California residents are getting a rebate

California is issuing what it’s calling a Middle Class Tax Refund that could put up to $ 1,050 in some residents’ bank accounts. To receive a payment, single residents must have an income of under $ 250,000 and married couples must have an income of under $ 500,000.

Meanwhile, those payments are set to start going out in October, so many people could see that money in just over a week. And all told, anyone eligible for a relief payment is expected to have that money no later than January of 2023.

Other states are stepping up, too

It’s not just California residents who can expect stimulus funds soon. New York, for example, is sending out stimulus payments worth up to $ 270. In fact, the state estimates that most of those payments will be issued by Oct. 31, which means residents who haven’t gotten paid yet shouldn’t have to wait too long to get that money.

All of this stimulus aid is coming at a good time. While gas prices have, thankfully, come down since peaking earlier this year, other key expenses, like food costs, are still on the rise. And in the absence of aid, a lot of people could land in costly debt just to make ends meet.

Of course, now’s really not a good time to take on debt. Not only might that debt be burdensome to pay off if a recession hits, but the Fed’s interest rate hikes are making things like credit card balances more expensive. So the fact that some states are offering near-term relief is a very good thing.

Meanwhile, it’s fair to assume that federal stimulus checks will be off the table for the remainder of the year. As such, some people may have no choice but to take on a second job to scrounge up the cash needed to cope with inflation until living costs start to come down. But thankfully, today’s strong economy makes that a viable option.

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