The Covid Economy

Adult dependents are finally eligible for stimulus payments

President Joe Biden delivers remarks in the East Room of the White House March 8, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Adult dependents 17 and older are eligible for stimulus payments for the first time under the American Rescue Plan Act, the $1.9 trillion relief bill signed by President Joe Biden on Thursday.

That could mean as many as 26 million more people will be eligible for a direct payment from the federal government, according to a report from the American Enterprise Institute. That includes:

  • High school students 17 or older claimed by someone else
  • College students claimed by someone else
  • Elderly adults claimed by someone else
  • Disabled adults claimed by someone else

The taxpayer claiming the dependent will have to meet the income requirements to be eligible for the payments. Individuals earning up to $75,000 will receive the full $1,400 and married couples earning up to $150,000 will get $2,800, plus payments for any dependents.

The payments phase out completely for individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) between $75,000 and $80,000, and for couples earning between $150,000 and $160,000.

Each dependent will receive the same payment amount as the taxpayer. If a married couple's payment is based off an AGI of $155,000 and they have two dependents, the household will get $2,800 collectively, says Garrett Watson, a senior policy analyst at the Tax Foundation. A married couple below the $150,000 threshold with two dependents will receive $5,600.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) said previously there was "no clear policy rationale" for excluding adult dependents from the first two rounds of payments, and that doing so ignored "the struggle of many families with dependents who are not minor children."

The third payment will be based on either 2019 or 2020 income, depending on if a taxpayer has already filed their tax return for last year. Qualifying dependents need to be claimed during that tax year.

To see how much relief you may receive, use this calculator.

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Check out: Use this calculator to see exactly how much your third coronavirus stimulus check could be worth

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