Many Americans are just weeks away from seeing more money deposited in their bank accounts due to the Enhanced Child Tax Credit part of the economic stimulus packages. However, many may not be aware that they are also eligible for another form of stimulus payment outside of any direct checks the government hands out to everyone.

The Homeowners Assistance Fund was a part of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which was created to help homeowners who are struggling with their mortgages and is meant to help out those who could be facing severe delinquencies—or even foreclosures—due to the pandemic. The IRS states that the HAF is “to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship after January 21, 2020.”

While the funds are used for assistance with mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance and utility payments, the funds are prioritized for those who have suffered the greatest hardships. There is a minimum of $40 million set aside for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

In order to qualify, there is a more stringent process than other stimulus aid programs. While the Child Tax credit and other stimulus checks, including the Plus-Up Payments, were delivered based on tax returns, those who have struggled since January 21, 2020 need to prove that there was a loss of income or job, or another form of financial struggle in order to qualify for the benefit. In addition, Yahoo! Finance reports that the household income must not exceed 150% of the median income in the area, and the mortgage balance of the homeowner could not exceed $548,250 as of the year 2021.

Similar assistance is available to renters as well, with funds available for those who have been struggling to pay their rent or utilities due to the pandemic. In this program, one member of the household has to qualify for unemployment benefits and must be willing to state in writing that the pandemic played a role. A past-due utility or rent notice showing risk of homelessness is also needed, as is proof that 2020 income fell below 80% of the community’s median income.

News about these programs come as the Biden Administration continues to take no official position regarding a Fourth Stimulus Check, though it was indicated previously that it isn’t entirely off the table should the need for payments arise again. The President has shifted his focus mainly to his big Infrastructure Spending Bill for now, even as Americans continue making calls for either a new check or automatic payments triggered by certain economic benchmarks in the future.

So far, there are no plans for either.

stimulus check
Economic stimulus checks are prepared for printing at the Philadelphia Financial Center on May 8, 2008, in Philadelphia. Jeff Fusco/Getty Images
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