By Jeresa Anderson Howard University News Service
The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which includes a third round of stimulus checks, has been passed by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden. Unlike previous bills, this round of checks will be extended to adult dependents.
Under The CARES Act, which was passed in March 2020, $1,200 stimulus checks were sent out to individuals, $2,400 for married couples and $500 extra for every dependent. These individuals qualified for the second round of stimulus checks, which was $600, with married couples receiving up to $1,200.
Both rounds excluded dependents 17 and older. This largely excluded college students who were claimed by their parents in 2019 as well as disabled adults who may have been claimed by their caretakers.
This third round of $1,400 checks will be extended to these groups, which is predicted to make almost 26 million more people eligible for relief.
The bill requires that $1,400 payments be sent to individuals with incomes under $75,000. Heads of households earning up to $112,500 also qualify for the full amount, as well as married couples earning less than $150,000. Any individual or household with income over these thresholds would be eligible for a reduced amount.
Though college students were largely excluded from previous checks, some did still receive relief through their colleges and universities. Howard University received $4.36 million in Higher Education Emergency Fund funding under The CARES Act, in which they provided grants between $250 and $500 to eligible students. Some Howard students also received up to $1,250 through the HEART Grant, which was created to help students afford the cost of attendance for Fall 2020.
Many students around the country are excited to receive relief this time around.
“It’s especially important to get this relief as I have no job, and it would really help in terms of buying things like groceries and not having to worry about money for a while,” said Karrington Butler, an english and public health major at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Other students feel like the stimulus checks were miniscule in the grand scheme of things.
“This stimulus is something people deserve, but a few lump sums here and there are only an acknowledgment. Many of us are still working hard to make ends meet in the midst of a pandemic. It was nice to receive, though,” said Sydney Rhone, a junior TV and film major at Howard University.
If you weren’t eligible to receive stimulus payments last year due to your status as a dependent, you may be eligible to collect both previous payments when you file your taxes this year.
Many Americans started receiving their checks as soon as the weekend following the bill’s signing. If you want to check your eligibility and when you will receive your stimulus check, you can visit the IRS website for the Get My Payment tracker.