We are now almost certain that the next relief package will include stimulus checks. However, there is still suspense on who would qualify for the direct assistance, or if those who were not eligible for the check in the first round will get a chance this time or not. Two such groups that weren’t eligible for coronavirus stimulus checks were dependents – including those age 17 and over, college students and disabled adults and immigrants.
CARES Act excluded many from direct payment
The CARES Act, which was passed in March, faced criticism from advocacy groups and taxpayers over excluding many Americans. Under the CARES Act, parents were allowed to claim $500 for each child under the age of 17.
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This meant that those 17 or older, including millions of high school seniors and juniors, didn’t qualify for the stimulus checks. Further, the CARES Act also excluded college students who were claimed as dependents on their parents' taxes. It disqualified many individuals who were adults in the eyes of the law, but were claimed as dependents on their parents' tax returns.
Further, the CARES Act excluded undocumented immigrants from the coronavirus stimulus checks if they did not have a Social Security Number (SSN). Several lawsuits have been filed against the Trump administration over excluding some immigrants and their American spouses from the payments.
Such provisions of the CARES Act irked many Americans. Thus, there are demands from lawmakers to fill in those eligibility gaps in the next relief package.
During a recent House Committee on Small Business hearing, Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn) pointed out such exclusions to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Craig asked if Mnuchin would want to include such individuals in the next package, as well as make the provisions retroactive.
Mnuchin did not give a clear answer, but admitted such issues with the first stimulus package.
“From a policy standpoint, I understand that issue and I am sympathetic to it,” Mnuchin said, according to CNBC.
Coronavirus stimulus checks for dependents and immigrants?
Whether or not these exclusions are reversed would largely depend on the GOP. However, several lawmakers have already proposed coronavirus stimulus checks for dependents and immigrants in their proposals for the next relief package.
For instance, the Democrats-backed HEROES Act proposes payments of $1,200 for each child in the family (up to three children). Further, the HEROES Act also proposes payment to those claimed as dependents on their parents' taxes
Also, the HEROES Act would make filing taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) eligible for the stimulus checks. Additionally, it makes these changes retroactive, meaning those with ITIN would be eligible to get the first stimulus check of up to $1,200 as well.
Another proposal that supports payment to Americans married to non-citizens is from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla). As well, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill) has come up with a proposal to allow the $1,200 payment to low-income college students.