In two earlier articles, I discussed how the 2009 economic stimulus recovery plan could affect your taxes and how the stimulus will affect people receiving unemployment benefits. In addition to these benefits, there are a couple more provisions that will have a direct impact on tax payer’s wallets. These include some educational provisions, and direct assistance provisions like food stamps and welfare programs.
Educational provisions in the 2009 economic recovery plan
The stimulus plan calls for educational grants and tax credits.
Tax credits. Individuals making less than $80,000 or families making less than $160,000 can get up to $2,500 in tax credits for college tuition. 40 percent ($1,000) of the credit is refundable.
Pell grants. The maximum amount of money a student can receive from the Pell grant increases to $5,350 per student for the 2009-2010 school year.
Direct personal benefit provisions in the 2009 economic stimulus plan
People have complained for years that food stamps and welfare are not sufficient. The 2009 economic recovery plan calls for a boost.
Food stamps. The 2009 economic stimulus bill includes a line item that would increase food stamp payments by 13.6%. A family of four currently receives $588 per month, and would receive an additional $80 per month. The bill also increases aid to state and local groups that provide food and shelter, such as food banks, homeless shelters, Meals on Wheels, and other similar groups.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The 2009 stimulus bill provides funding for states to create a new fund for the welfare program called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, which provides cash assistance to the needy. This program is expected to be in place through 2010.
My thoughts about the 2009 economic stimulus plan
I think this is a better overall plan than giving people a couple hundred dollars, a pat on the back, and a telling them “good luck in 2009.” I didn’t cover every provision covered in the stimulus plan, but there are many others including provisions that should create jobs and give companies certain tax breaks which will hopefully stem the tide of unemployment. The first economic stimulus plan was just a check with the hope that people would spend money. The 2009 economic stimulus recovery plan is more about helping those who need it most – those who are low income and unemployed.