3 scenarios that could lead to a fourth audit in 2021

Millions of Americans have a petition requesting a fourth stimulus check. And the data clearly shows why a new payment is so much needed. Despite the demand for a new payment, legislators have set other priorities, reducing the likelihood of a fourth direct payment in the bank accounts of Americans who need one.

But, while another stimulus control doesn’t seem likely at this point, that doesn’t mean the possibility is completely off the table. In fact, there are three scenarios that can lead to a fourth check.

This is what they are.

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1. When a new, more dangerous variant of COVID-19 develops

Like most viruses, the coronavirus can mutate and change shape. Unfortunately, this has happened several times. The most notable mutation was the development of the delta variant of COVID-19, which turned out to be more easily transmissible than the original virus strain.

Due to the delta variant, the number of cases started to rise when they had previously fallen and the rules were reintroduced.

Fortunately, while delta was more transmissible, it was not remarkably more dangerous to those affected than the original strain of COVID-19. However, it is possible for the virus to mutate in more dangerous ways, including into more lethal variants or vaccine-resistant variants.

If a virus strain develops that poses greater danger to the public and new lockdowns are imposed, it would almost certainly lead to a fourth stimulus check. The first two payments received bipartisan support because the need was clear, and this could happen again if the pandemic worsens.

2. If the number of applications for unemployment increases dramatically

Unemployment rates have fallen instead of rising, which is a major reason lawmakers aren’t excited to sign up for another stimulus payment.

However, if the economy deteriorates and companies stop hiring, poverty rates could rise and consumer spending could fall. This could create a vicious circle because when people stop buying things, companies lay off people and unemployment rates rise further.

If this starts to happen, it’s possible the Democrats will push for a new stimulus check. Even without Republican support, this could become part of a conciliation bill that would allow for party-based legislation.

3. If more states decide to use their stimulus money to issue checks

While the federal government has conducted two stimulus checks in 2020 and one in 2021, the US government is not the only potential source of stimulus money. A number of states have started handing out payments or other aid to residents. And many more states received federal coronavirus relief money that they could potentially use to provide direct payments to local residents.

States may decide to do so in order to strengthen economic conditions within their borders or if cases increase locally and more restrictions must be introduced at the local level.

While neither of these scenarios would be good news, they are possible outcomes that could materialize in the coming months that could very well lead to a fourth stimulus payment.

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