STIMULUS checks have been a lifeline for many Americans as millions wait to see whether a new stimulus check will be part of the next Covid relief package.
However, there are still many ways to receive financial benefit, from greater protection for tenants to more money for federal unemployment aid.
A second stimulus check is yet to be passed into law and details remain scarce.
Talks have been largely stalled since June but discussions are likely to pick up again now the presidential election is out the way.
Congress have just days to agree on another economic relief package before the end of the year.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer flagged a window in the next two weeks that his chamber will have to work out details, specifically December 2 to early in the week of December 7.
However, an increasing number of leaders are calling on lawmakers to pass a short-term relief package to see the country through the next few months.
It could mean extending some of the most critical programs set to expire at the end of the year and leaving out a second stimulus check, in the hope that a broader package would be introduced once Biden takes office in January.
Others suggest a second stimulus payment may not be necessary since a COVID-19 vaccine and a return to life as normal appears to be on the horizon.
Months of stimulus check talks and disagreement among Congress gives no guarantee of a second check.
However, those out of work could still benefit from more money for federal unemployment aid after the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act in March authorized an additional $600 per week in unemployment money for out-of-work individuals.
Although the program ran out in July, President Trump signed an executive action that extended payments through the end of the year at $300 extra per week, until December 31 or until the money for each state ran out.
The number of unemployed workers claiming benefits is currently as high as 20 million and a renewal of the federal unemployment assistance could directly help millions of people pay for rent, food and other essentials.
SMALL BUSINESS BOOST
Another benefit outside of a second stimulus check can be found in the Payroll Protection Program, also part of the CARES Act, which was designed to help workers stay employed by providing loans to small businesses in order to continue paying wages.
The scheme means those working for small businesses are more likely to keep their jobs
Both Republicans and Democrats have pushed for renewal of the program targeted at the hardest-hit small businesses.
And it could be good news for renters, too, with the CARES Act including a 120-day moratorium on evicting renters who were late on rent.
Trump renewed the moratorium until December 31 after studies found one in five renters are were unable to keep up to date on their rent during the pandemic.
Biden may also be able to push through an executive order – which is a means of issuing instructions as the President of the United States – to stop landlords from kicking out tenants.
Tenants would be safe from being evicted if they fall behind on their rent, but they could still face losing their home for other reasons.
Households are already safe from evictions thanks to a temporary measure enforced by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – but this is due to expire at the end of the year.
Congress could decide to extend this before the moratorium runs out on December 31.
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