Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment announced on April 17 that Colorado’s unemployment rate rose two percentage points in March to 4.5 percent. That number marks the highest unemployment rate the state has seen since August 2015 — and unfortunately, the number of unemployed residents is expected to rise as April numbers come in from the state.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down in-person dining at restaurants, closed stores and caused many small businesses across the state to close and layoff employees. But through the chaos, a small relief has entered into some Coloradan’s bank accounts.
Congress approved a $2 trillion stimulus package last month, the largest economic rescue package in history. Part of that package included provisions that will, or already have, pay qualifying Americans up to $1,200 for qualifying single taxpayers or $2400 for those filing jointly. If you have set up your direct deposit from previous tax returns, you may have already received your money. But if not, checks will be mailed out.
The government has called the payment a “recovery rebate,” and it is an advanced tax credit that will offset 2020 federal income tax credits. To qualify for the payment, you must have a social security number, and you must have filed your taxes in 2018 or 2019.
If you have children, you may be eligible for more funds from the package. Parents or guardians of children are eligible to receive $500 per child. To check on your payment eligibility and for other information about the program, visit IRS.gov
While $1,200 may be barley enough to cover rent, more money may be coming in. President Donald Trump said it is “absolutely under serious consideration” to give Americans a second round of direct payments while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she supports the idea.
Some Congressmen like Ro Khanna, California (D) and Tim Ryan, Ohio (D), proposed that the government give Americans who are over 16 years old around $2,000 a month for the next year. “Americans need sustained cash infusions for the duration of this crisis in order to come out on the other side alive, healthy and ready to get back to work,” Khanna said in a release.
As Congress ponders the idea of a second round of payments, Colorado’s stay-at-home orders’ deadline draws closer each day. The order is scheduled to end on April 26, but Colorado Gov. Jared Polis cautioned that just because the order will end, it doesn’t mean that things will return back to normal.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said on Monday that 80 percent of all Denver hospital beds are open, adding that the open beds are encouraging signs that staying at home and distancing ourselves from each other is working. There are over 10,000 COVID-19 cases in Colorado and nearly 1,750 confirmed cases in Denver.