Economic inequality

U.S. President Biden announces additional $1.2 billion in student debt relief for 35,000 public-sector workers

President Joe Biden announced another round of student loan debt forgiveness, totaling $1.2 billion for 35,000 public-sector workers including teachers, nurses and firefighters. The administration has now canceled more federal student loan debt than any prior administration – now totaling more than $168 billion for nearly 4.8 million Americans.

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Credit cards in front of laptop

United States to ban medical debt from credit reports

In a sweeping change that could improve millions of Americans’ ability to own a home or buy a car, the Biden administration proposed a rule to ban medical debt from credit reports. The rule, announced by Vice President Kamala Harris and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra, comes as President Joe Biden beefs up his efforts to persuade Americans his administration is lowering costs, a chief concern for voters in the upcoming election.

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IRS tax filings

U.S.’s Internal Revenue Service to make its free tax filing program permanent

A pilot version of the online program, known as Direct File, launched earlier this year. It provides step-by-step guidance to taxpayers filing their federal tax returns.

A pilot version of the online program, known as Direct File, launched earlier this year. It provides free step-by-step guidance to taxpayers filing their federal tax returns. Last year, more than 140,000 people across 12 states successfully filed their federal tax returns using Direct File, exceeding the agency’s expectations. Next year, the IRS plans to allow some taxpayers in all states and Washington, DC, to use the program.

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Person holding graduation cap up to sun

Biden administration cancels $7.7 billion in student debt for 160,500 Americans

The White House has approved $7.7 billion of student debt cancellation for 160,500 borrowers, part of its ongoing effort to provide relief after the Supreme Court last year blocked President Joe Biden’s plan for broad-based college loan forgiveness. With the latest round of forgiveness, the administration has erased a total of $167 billion in student loans for 4.75 million people, or about 1 in 10 student loan borrowers.

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Packages of diapers

Tennessee to become the first U.S. state to provide some children’s diapers

According to the National Diaper Bank Network, 92% of families receiving diapers in Tennessee are working and still unable to afford an adequate supply of diapers. However, it was just announced that the state’s Medicaid program will officially start covering 100 diapers a month for newborns, infants, and one-year-olds in August 2024, becoming the first U.S. state to do so.

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Technicians carrying photovoltaic solar module while installing solar panel system on roof of house

U.S. President Joe Biden announces $7 billion in federal solar power grants

President Biden marked Earth Day by announcing $7 billion in federal grants for residential solar projects serving 900,000-plus households in low- and middle-income communities. The projects are expected to eventually reduce emissions by the equivalent of 30 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and save households $350 million annually, according to senior administration officials.

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IRS tax documents

IRS free tax filing program launches in 12 pilot states

While the pilot focuses on “simple tax situations,” the U.S. Treasury estimates the pilot could cover about one-third of tax situations for 19 million taxpayers. Within five years, the program could save the average filer $160 per year, or a collective $11 billion annually including tax prep fees and time, according to a report from the Economic Security Project.

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Laughing Baby

Japan expands free day care centers to all children

The Japanese government announced that it will now offer free daycare to all children aged 6 months to 2 years old, regardless of parents’ employment status. The “Childcare Access for All” program, set to begin in April 2024 with a trial run in 150 municipalities, will see nationwide implementation by 2026. All children within the age range will be eligible, with initial access capped at 10 hours per month, though an increase is planned for 2026.

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American money

Biden administration to forgive $1.2 billion in student debt for over 150,000 borrowers

The Biden administration will forgive another $1.2 billion in student debt for nearly 153,000 borrowers enrolled its new repayment program, called the Saving on a Valuable Education, or SAVE, plan. The relief will go to borrowers who have been in repayment for a decade or longer, and originally took out $12,000 or less. Biden has now canceled debt for almost 3.9 million borrowers, totaling $138 billion in relief.

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Manhattan skyline

New York City plans to wipe out $2 billion in medical debt for 500,000 residents

The city is working with RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit that buys medical debt in bulk from hospitals and debt collectors for pennies on the dollar. The group targets the debt of people with low incomes or financial hardships and then forgives the amounts. Under the program, the city will spend $18 million over three years.

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