Since President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act into motion earlier this month, more students who were claimed as dependents on their parents' 2019 and 2020 tax returns are seeing an influx of cash through stimulus checks from the government. 

For the first time through the pandemic, adult dependents will become eligible for the checks, meaning many students will be receiving $1,400 through direct deposit, or through the mail as a check or a debit card.

With the third round of stimulus payments going out earlier this week, eligible dependents received more than double the amount that was previously given out to Americans. 

An overwhelming majority of students, like sophomore Anthony Reiter, did not receive the first or the second stimulus check. “Initially as I was filed as a dependent under my parents’ joint return,” Reiter said. 

Aandrea Aguilar is among many who have experienced not receiving a stimulus. “I didn’t get the first two checks when everyone else did (I got them this year with my tax returns), I was very glad to be getting this one,” Aguilera said. “It’s nice to have some security money and I remember how unfair it felt to not get them when everyone else did last year.”

According to AARP.com, under the current version of the American Rescue Plan Act, single adults who reported $75,000 or less in adjusted gross income on their 2019 or 2020 tax return will receive the full $1,400 payments.

Additionally, couples who plan to file jointly who earned $150,000 or less in adjusted gross income, will receive the full $2,800.

Along with these payments, the IRS will add on an additional $1,400 for each dependent in the family, so children are covered as well. 

For many students, this comes as a much needed sigh of relief and a chance to catch up on bills or save for the future. 

Senior Edmund Burke said he plans to “hopefully keep [the stimulus money] in the bank so I have the extra funds available when needed.”

Other students like sophomore Emilee Hagewood said she was “ready to shop till I drop!” with the newly added government funds. 

Although, students who were eligible for the stimulus payment in 2021 are thankful now, there will still be discussions about what more the government could have done to aid students specifically through the pandemic. 

“[The government] definitely should be doing more. $1,200, $600, $1,400 here and there is not enough. People have lost their jobs over Covid-19,” Aguilera said. “People who are immunocompromised sometimes can’t get to work. Especially with mask mandates being lifted, it’s hard for many people to go on with somewhat-normal lives even a year later. We’ve gotten three checks over the course of 12+ months now with Covid. Just ridiculous.”

Stimulus checks will become more readily available to eligible students and eligible dependents in the near future, especially with the upcoming tax return deadline at the end of March. 

Payments may be delayed if there are issues with personal tax returns, but can be checked at any time with the “Get My Payment” tool on IRS.gov.

 

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