With several federal programs put into place to combat the financial hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic ending or on the verge of ending soon, many are beginning to grow worried about what this could mean for millions of Americans still in dire financial situations and straits. Now, experts are calling for additional monthly assistance as fears over all aid running out continue to spread.

In addition to unemployment benefits and an eviction moratorium that have now expired, some are beginning to worry that the Expanded Child Tax Credit, which started depositing money into accounts in July and is currently set to drop final payments in December, could also run out if plans to extend it to 2025 are not approved by Congress as part of Joe Biden’s current reconciliation package. The payments, which are giving parents an additional $300/month per child under 6 and $250/month per child ages 6-17, have been useful for families who are still feeling the pain of the pandemic, and experts state that since Americans are still expected to pay their bills on a monthly basis, assistance on a monthly basis should still be a part of the discussion.

“The bills come monthly, and so should the checks,” Natalie Foster, co-chair of the Economic Security Project, told CBS News about the Expanded Child Tax Credit payments. “We know that these first two checks have really impacted families in a meaningful way.”

Census data from the Senate Joint Economic Committee backed up Foster’s statements, finding that households with food insecurity dropped to 8.4% from 11% after those checks were deposited. The findings aren’t surprising, after the initial stimulus checks for adults were also found to have a significant impact on families who were suffering from financial hardship. Studies earlier this year found that after the $600 check in December 2020 and the $1,400 check in March 2021, financial instability decreased by 43%, while food shortages in households fell 42% at the time. Anxiety and depression tied to worries about finances also fell by more than 20%.

With increased concerns over the Delta Variant driving up cases, and more and more Americans trying to advocate for stabilizing payments of $2000 per month, there is still hope that the Biden Administration or Congress will come through with more money for Americans. With calls for payments to specific groups like senior citizens and others also growing, the time may come soon for some other form of assistance to be called upon.

stimulus-check-5948809_1920 Representation. A COVID-19 stimulus check. Photo: Pixabay