There has been a jarring impact on the economy as a result of COVID-19. Families and businesses across the country are at risk as a result of it. College students are among those hardest hit by the changes. This is where a stimulus check could be helpful. Independent students are subject to different rules than dependent students.
What you need to know.
Colleges Blindsided by the Quarantine
There are very few schools that allow students to stay on campus after graduation. It has been difficult for some students to return home. As low-income students struggle to find even the most basic resources, they have been particularly hard hit. Financial assistance from the federal government could serve as a much-needed financial buffer at this time.
In response to the COVID-19-induced economic crisis, the Department of the Treasury announced the distribution of stimulus checks. The checks are intended to provide temporary relief to eligible taxpayers.
Whether you are a dependent or independent student, here’s what you need to know about the stimulus check.
How the Stimulus Bill Affects Students
Taxpayers who qualify for the Coronavirus stimulus bill, or the CARES Act, can receive a one-time payment from the IRS. Tax returns indicate an individual or family’s adjusted gross income, which determines the amount of the stimulus check.
- A $1,200 check is available to individuals earning less than $75,000 a year
- If a couple files jointly, they will receive a $2,400 check if they earn $75,000 or less a year.
- Families with dependent children under the age of 17 are eligible for $500 each.
Dependent children between the ages of 17 and 24 are the only group excluded from the stimulus bill. Financial relief is not provided for them. They are not eligible to receive the $500 granted to younger dependents under the Stimulus Bill.
What This Means for You If You’re a Dependent Student
You are not eligible to receive the $1,200 stimulus check if you qualify as a dependent. You are also not eligible for the $500 child bonus since it is only available to dependents under 17 years of age. You can do this even if you live away from your parents and pay your own expenses.
The stimulus bill excludes students aged 17 to 24 who are claimed as dependents. There is also no appeal process in place at the moment.
There could be more to this than a short-term financial squeeze. In the long run, it may ruin your credit score, compounding the problem.
What This Means for You If You’re an Independent Student
Independent students face their own challenges when it comes to college, but there’s good news. In either 2018 or 2019 if you filed a tax return, you automatically qualify for a $1,200 stimulus check.
There are resources available to help you during this difficult time.