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The Rollercoaster Ride of 4th Stimulus Check: Updates on These Financial Relief Efforts

4th Stimulus Checks

Have you found yourself wondering lately if a 4th stimulus check will arrive in your bank account anytime soon? You are not alone. With rampant inflation driving up prices and squeezing household budgets, many families desperately need some financial relief right now.

Stimulus checks offered relief not too long ago when the pandemic crashed the economy. Will there be a 4th stimulus check coming from Uncle Sam once more to rescue struggling Americans? While the likelihood of another broad federal payout is low, the possibility persists, thanks to several states and cities stepping up.

So let’s hop aboard this rollercoaster ride of stimulus check developments and see where we stand on possible 4th stimulus checks today. Buckle up, folks – it may be an exciting journey!

First, we should clearly define what constitutes a stimulus check. Simply put, these direct payments aim to boost consumer spending and energize the economy during times of crisis or recession. The federal government has issued three rounds of broad stimulus aid since the 2020 COVID downturn. That assistance helped millions put food on tables and keep roofs over their heads when jobs disappeared overnight.

In 2023, the pandemic will no longer dictate economic fortune or misfortune. However, high inflation delivers an equally heavy blow to family budgets. Could another infusion of cash aid rescue households feeling trapped in this inflationary maze?

Unlike widespread federal stimulus programs that put money directly into taxpayer bank accounts, a 4th stimulus check scenario currently depends on where someone lives. A few forward-thinking states and cities implemented ongoing or one-time stimulus aid for residents with higher living costs. These localized stimulus packages come in all shapes and sizes.

Some target lower-income groups with more extensive one-time checks or ongoing monthly payments. For example, Chicago and Los Angeles initiated lotteries and pilot programs, providing a lucky few with $1,000 per month for a year. Other municipalities, like Pittsburgh, enacted two-year programs delivering $500 per month to selected low-income recipients.

A few states offered more modest relief packages, reaching wider audiences. Most state-level stimulus aid was $250 to $1,200 in one-time payments. Teachers and frontline workers also scored bonuses in a handful of states. We will unpack state and city stimulus efforts later on.

At last count, about 18 states approved some form of supplemental stimulus aid. The list includes heavy-hitters like California and New York and less populated states such as Maine and New Mexico. A few states are also debating bills that could lead to extra assistance if passed. We will highlight those later on, too.

In addition to states pulling economic relief levers, a few cities also implemented stimulus lotteries or guaranteed income pilot projects. Most aim to support low-income households for six months to a year or longer. Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Santa Ana, and Seattle make the list of municipalities providing stimulus money in some shape or form.

As noted earlier, payout specifics vary widely from state to state and city to city. However, economic research revealed that past federal stimulus funds offered around $2,000 per household on average. Extrapolating that to current state and city-based stimulus packages implies $500 per person, approximating a decent ballpark figure. However, some stimulus efforts promise more while others provide less, so personal situations determine the outcome.

Before diving deeper into current state and city options, let’s investigate whether another national stimulus solution exists.

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With precedent established for three previous economic stimulus efforts, the logical question becomes, could Congress approve a broadly distributed 4th stimulus check passed today for inflationary relief? Providing definitive answers proves difficult, but examining potential political and economic evidence offers clues.

The passage of three prior landmark stimulus packages stemmed from urgent situations demanding quick, decisive federal intervention. First came the 2020 CARES Act, as COVID-19 initially weakened the economy. Then, as the health crisis persisted, the late 2020 stimulus package extended critical aid. Finally, March 2021 saw the America Rescue Plan Act replenish depleted relief programs.

The odds lean very improbable regarding another significant federal stimulus investment. Most lawmakers stand divided along party lines when spending trillions more in COVID-style economic relief aid. Dems’ argument continues for targeted programs assisting lower-income groups. Those counter that inflationary forces stem directly from trillions spent during the pandemic, so pouring more gasoline on that fire makes little sense.

When the pandemic first hit in early 2020, widespread lockdowns and restrictions forced business closures and job losses. The sudden economic shockwave required immediate and sizable stimulus interventions to keep things afloat. Hence, you had the initial $2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package.

The economy languished in recession despite that first infusion of resources. So Congress approved more funding by year-end to avoid fiscal cliffs as critical aid programs expired. The early 2021 American Rescue Plan Act replenished state and local government relief and resources supporting small businesses and schools: healthcare, housing aid, and direct payments.

With little faith in another sweeping congressional stimulus package, state legislatures took matters into their own hands. The March 2021 American Rescue Plan provided $195 billion of flexible aid directly to state governments—guidelines stipulated using funds by the end of 2024 to cover pandemic impacts and infrastructure rebuilding.

Some states capitalized on this flexibility to initiate their economic relief programs, helping taxpayers wrestle with rising inflation. Let’s survey how stimulus dollars are manifested by the state.

Nearly 20 states have authorized some variation of a statewide stimulus program. While eligibility and payouts vary nationwide, significant assistance flowed to those battling higher living costs. Here is a state-by-state snapshot of approved stimulus efforts thus far.


The Golden State approved two separate stimulus initiatives in 2021. The Golden State Stimulus provided stimulus checks to residents earning $75,000 or less. Payouts ranged from $600 to $1,200 per taxpayer. Their Golden State Stimulus II authorized additional payments of up to $1,100. Families with children under six also received extra funds under California’s Young Child Tax Credit.


The Colorado Cashback stimulus sent $750 to individual filers and $1,500 for joint returns. The state expected refunds to reach 3.1 million residents, over half their population.


Florida went the teacher bonus route by allocating $1,000 checks to confident educators and principals. Pre-K instructors also qualified for $500 or $1,000 bonuses, depending on their roles.


Depending on their filing status, Peach State taxpayers received between $250 and $500. Married couples filing jointly scored the maximum $500 in payments. Teachers and administrators enjoyed $1,000 stimulus bonuses as well.


This state’s tax rebate plan returns 12% of state taxes paid in 2020 to those filing resident tax returns for 2020 and 2021. The maximum payment is calculated to be $1,500 per household.


Families get $100 per dependent for up to three children. Individual filers receive $50 each for as much as $400 per household under their Family Relief stimulus plan.

The diversity is evident in approved state-level stimulus programs that provide something for everyone – teachers’ bonuses, taxpayer rebates, child tax credits, and more. This amounts to $500 extra stimulus cash per person across the 20 participating states. It’s not too shabby compared to last year!

Some states and cities have implemented additional direct payments to residents, but eligibility varies based on location and income requirements. For example, low-income residents of Chicago or Los Angeles may qualify for city-level monthly stimulus checks through lottery programs.

State and city payments range from $50 checks in Illinois up to $1,000 monthly checks in Los Angeles through basic income pilot programs. Most state-level stimulus payments fall between $250 to $1,200 in one-time aid.

Distribution timelines vary for state-level checks, ranging from summer 2022 disbursements already underway through late 2022 or 2023 for newly approved programs.

You likely received a state or city-level stimulus payment rather than an official federal 4th stimulus check. States like California and cities like Chicago and Los Angeles have enacted their own aid programs, providing relief checks to residents.

State and city stimulus check amounts vary from $50 to $1,200 based on location and eligibility factors like income requirements. Some cities offer recurring monthly aid checks up to $1,000 per month.

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