The stimulus checks that helped millions of Americans stay off the street during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic might not be over yet. Although there are no official plans for future financial aid, legislators are pushing for a fourth and possibly fifth round of checks for struggling individuals and families. Despite the fact that vaccinations are lowering the spread rate of COVID-19 across the country, the impact of mass layoffs and a global economic crisis are still rife.

What does this mean for those who are either out of work or trying to recover from months of lost wages? Since nearly half of all U.S. states have ended their extended financial assistance programs, those who are still relying on unemployment checks to get by are fearful of what the future holds. Government officials claim that there is a large surplus of jobs Americans simply don't want to work, and the rebound from COVID is significant enough that financial assistance is no longer required.

The story looks different from the inside where millions of families are still struggling to make ends meet. Those who lost their careers after the pandemic hit have taken on side hustles and odd jobs to pay for their living expenses, but many have had to move back in with family or downsize significantly. If a fourth check does happen to come, what will it mean for the economy?

A Fourth Stimulus Check Would Help People Recover Faster

The fact of the matter is that financial aid does help people, whether the government believes they should be standing on their own by now or not. The greatest objective of stimulus checks is not to keep people unemployed but to prevent them from sliding into poverty. There are millions of people who, although actively working, are falling behind on expenses and unable to keep up. Whether they have debt or simply aren't earning enough to make ends meet, another check could keep them from losing their homes, struggling to eat and more.

For Those with Stable Income, Trading Could Increase

The economic impact of COVID wasn't all bad. Many industries experienced a massive surge in revenue, and new traders were more prevalent than ever. Foreign exchange trading is one industry that people began to explore. FX trading is decentralized, and it converts one currency into another to increase profits. For Americans who have become increasingly aware of how fragile financial stability is, the idea of building their own wealth through a Forex trading platform is largely appealing. With an additional stimulus, someone looking to get more serious about investing could use their funds to grow their wealth.

Who Will Get the Next Stimulus?

There is no guarantee that another round of assistance wouldn't have serious income restrictions. Millions of Americans still haven't received one or all of the first three checks as lawmakers opposed to another check will likely push for strong income caps, meaning that people who are employed and filed their 2020 tax returns will likely not be as widely included in the pool of recipients as last time. If you're still struggling to stay afloat, you don't have to wait with bated breath. There are options for assistance now that may be able to help you.

Small Business Help

Even though restrictions regarding masks and social distancing are easing up, business owners are still reeling from the lost wages during mandated quarantine. To help owners and employees alike, the Paycheck Protection Program by the U.S. Business Administration is available. This program can be used for more than just paying employees their wages, too. You can choose to apply the funds toward other essential expenses, including rent or mortgage payments, utility bills and uninsured property damages. You can also look into Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), which help businesses recover from financial losses due to COVID-19.

Unemployment Aid

Even if your state ended its COVID unemployment assistance bonus, you can still receive $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits through September 6, 2021. Self-employed and gig-based workers are also able to apply for assistance whereas it was previously reserved for salaried employees.

Housing Assistance

If you are unable to pay your mortgage or rent, there are a few options. First, there is the Homeowner Assistance Fund, part of the American Rescue Plan Act. This fund helps American homeowners avoid mortgage defaults and delinquencies caused by hardships occurring after January 21, 2020. The American Rescue Plan also has funds set aside that must be given to renters when their landlords will not accept any form of financial aid.

Landlords are not allowed to evict any tenants who cannot pay during the months they receive emergency relief. On a personal front, taking added measures to lower living expenses is imperative. Although it can be tempting to try and maintain as much normalcy as possible, getting as much money as you can into reserves can help you weather the storm.