Hundreds of people in Camden County, New Jersey, will get payments of $1,000, officials announced on Tuesday.
Those who will receive the stimulus payments are Camden County caregivers and will have to provide evidence of at least 500 hours of health care or day-to-day support to one or more elderly persons or children, or people with disabilities, according to a news release issued by the local government.
“This pandemic has had a severe impact on all of our lives and most industries throughout the nation. One of the hardest hit fields was caregiving as staff were on the front lines of keeping clients and loved ones safe seven days a week,” Commissioner Deputy Director Ed McDonnell said in a news release. “Our hope is that these funds will provide some relief and support for those working these incredibly important and difficult jobs.”
The news release did not say when the payments will be sent out. It did, however, say that applications can be submitted starting from Aug. 23.
The stimulus payment is part of a $55 million federal funding package that was provided to the county, according to the government release. The funding also provided some $25 million in “rental assistance, grants for nonprofit organizations, and small businesses,” it said.
Washington, D.C., for example, is giving $1,000 to low-income families for back-to-school supplies.
“We know that back-to-school time can be an expensive time of year for families—new uniforms, haircuts, supplies. There are a lot of expenses all at once,” D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser said last week. “So we are disbursing these funds now to give families an extra cash bump during a busy time of year so that our students and families can have a strong start to an important school year.”
Such payments have triggered criticism for their use amid decades-high inflation. The Consumer Price Index in July stood at 8.5 percent year-over-year, while the index rose 9.1 percent in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When Biden became president in January 2021, the 12-month Consumer Price Index (CPI), a measure of inflation, was only at 1.4 percent. By May of that year, it had reached 5 percent.
In January 2022, the CPI was running at 7.5 percent. It then peaked at 9.1 percent in June, and was at 8.5 percent in July. Inflation has not dropped below 7 percent in any month this year so far.
Christina Herrin from the nonprofit Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) wrote in July that inflation-related stimulus checks by states are a “fruitless attempt to combat inflation.”
“A one-time payment for ‘inflation relief’ is far different than tax rebates that many states are providing to all taxpayers based on income. They are feel-good band-aids that will make everything more expensive and keep inflation going longer than it would otherwise,” Herrin wrote.
Naveen Athrappully contributed to this report.