The Covid Economy

Adult dependents are once again not eligible for stimulus checks


Congress has finally reached an agreement on a coronavirus relief package that includes a second round of stimulus checks. But just like the first round of checks, only taxpayers and their dependents under 17 qualify for a payment.

That excludes millions of high school and college-aged dependents, as well as many disabled adults and elderly people under someone else's care.

This was also the case for the first round of stimulus checks, which caused anger and frustration for many Americans who were left out of receiving additional funds to support their families. At that time, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) said there was "no clear policy rationale for this choice, which ignores the struggle of many families with dependents who are not minor children," and that any added cost to include these dependents "would be quite modest."

Immigrant families now eligible for checks

One change from the first round: Mixed-status households — in which some members have Social Security numbers and some do not — are now eligible to receive a check despite being excluded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stability, or CARES, Act.

Immigrants without SSNs will still not qualify for checks, says Kathleen Romig, senior policy analyst at CBPP. But the rest of their household will no longer be disqualified if they meet all of the other eligibility requirements. Romig estimates as many as 15 million more people will now be eligible to receive a check.

This change is also retroactive, meaning those with SSNs in the families can now also claim the first stimulus check if they meet the other eligibility requirements. They will have to apply for the check; it will not be deposited automatically.

Check out: Americans call slimmed down $600 stimulus checks a 'disgrace' but better than nothing

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How a 31-year-old making $118,000 in Philadelphia spends his money
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