Fourth Stimulus Check Update: Build Back Better Would Send Monthly Payments Through 2022

The House of Representatives passage of the Build Back Better Act put monthly payments for some Americans in 2022 one step closer to becoming a reality.

President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act extends the expanded Child Tax Credit, which is currently being paid in monthly installments, through the end of 2022. However, at a $2 trillion price tag, it faces an uphill battle in the Senate, but if passed, it would mean eligible guardians could continue to receive monthly checks for another year.

When Congress passed the American Rescue Plan in March, legislators increased payments for the Child Tax Credit to $3,600 for eligible children under 6 and $3,000 for children between the ages of 6 and 17. It also revamped how Americans received the credit. Instead of a lump sum after a person files their taxes, many Americans have been receiving half their estimated credit in monthly payments of $300 for each child under 6 and $250 for all other eligible children.

Those payments are set to end in December, but they will be extended if the Senate passes Build Back Better. Instead of receiving half the credit in monthly payments and half after a person files taxes, the Build Back Better Act would change the system to allow people to receive their full credit in monthly payments.

Although not exactly a stimulus check like the three many Americans received during the pandemic, Stephanie Bonin, the creator of a petition for $2,000 monthly payments, still considers it a victory.

"Yes, it's not a monthly stimulus check with those words, but it's a monthly check to almost 90 percent of families with kids," Bonin previously told Newsweek. "It seems a little bit like potatoes, poh-tah-toes because the petition was asking for money we can count on."

child tax credit joe biden stimulus check
If the Senate passes President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act, some Americans will receive monthly payments through the end of 2022 as part of the Child Tax Credit. Biden speaks about how his Build Back Better agenda will lower prescription drug prices, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on August 12. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Bonin shifted the focus of her petition from widespread monthly stimulus checks to the Child Tax Credit and has been encouraging petition signatories to share their support for the Child Tax Credit with their representatives.

To be eligible for the advanced Child Tax Credit payments, the dependent must be a son, daughter, foster child, adopted child, brother, stepbrother, stepsister or a descendant of any of them. The person claiming the child must have filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return or used the non-filers tool on the Internal Revenue Service's website.

Along with extending how long people will receive the monthly payments, the Build Back Better Act also expands who is eligible for a payment. Current law allows parents who don't have social security numbers to receive a payment if their qualifying child has a social security number. This includes children who were born in the United States but who's parents are undocumented.

However, if the Build Back Better Act passes the Senate in its current form, it would strike that requirement from the record to make children eligible even if they don't have a social security number.

Democrats are looking to pass the Build Back Better Act, a signature of Biden's presidency, through a method known as reconciliation. It would allow them to bypass Republicans, but requires a completely unified Democratic caucus.

Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema haven't signed onto the legislation and without them, it's doomed to fail in the Senate as it's unlikely to get Republican support. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats are going to try to negotiate with Sinema and Manchin to get a "very strong, bold bill out of the Senate." His goal is to finish the bill by Christmas.

If it doesn't pass, the final monthly payments for the expanded Child Tax Credit will be sent out on December 15 and payments will return to $2,000 per child in 2022.