It’s looking up for college students in negotiations over the second round of COVID-19 stimulus checks. The Republican proposal in the U.S. Senate would extend stimulus checks to adult dependents, which means that families with college students would get checks for them this time around.
There’s even a proposal by a group of GOP Senators to give everyone $1,000 checks regardless of age or dependent status. If that passed, college students would directly get the money as opposed to it going to their parents who claim them as adult dependents. In the first round of stimulus checks, millions of college students were left out because they are listed as adult dependents on their parents’ tax forms. During the first round, anyone listed as an adult dependent didn’t qualify.
However, it appears that both Republicans and Democrats realize that’s a problem and want to change it during round 2. Of course, first they have to come to an agreement on other matters, including the amount of the checks and other provisions in the second relief plan, such as whether to extend extra unemployment benefits or grant liability protection to entities like universities. Republicans and Democrats met over the weekend but didn’t come to an agreement. Thus, the checks are up in the air until an agreement is reached. That includes the amount, when they would go out, and who gets them.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Republican Plan Would Include Adult Dependents, Many of Whom Are College Students
According to Fox Business, the Republican plan, which still needs to come to a vote, would give many Americans another $1,200 check using almost the same guidelines as last time. Those earning under $75,000 would qualify for the $1,200, whereas those earning up to $99,000 would get gradually smaller amounts.
However, there’s one change that would mean many Americans could see some cash, although in a smaller amount.
According to Fox Business, this time, families who have adult dependents (those over age 17) would get an extra $500 for each dependent. This would allow parents of adult college students, for example, to get the payment for each child, as long as they remain an adult dependent. As Forbes pointed out, the additional $500 has “no age cap, which helps high school students, college students and other adult dependents.”
According to Forbes, the Democrats’ second relief plan would include $1,200 for dependents, which includes college students. However, the final version needs to get through the GOP-controlled Senate.
“A married couple with two children could receive up to $3,400,” Fox explained of the Republican plan.
There was another big sign that a second round of stimulus checks could bring more money to people. President Donald Trump said in a recent interview in Texas that the checks might be “way higher” than the $1,200 sent out to many Americans last time. “The Democrats are holding back the $1,200 to $3,400 (family of four) checks that were ready to be sent out!” Trump tweeted on July 31
Not all adult dependents are college students. However, many are.
The HEALS act, which is the name of Senate Republicans’ second stimulus relief proposal, would fix that. It “includes just a few people that were unintentionally left out of the last one. Mostly dependents, college and adults, that are somebody else’s dependents,” Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said on July 27.
The key language that would mean some Americans could see more than $1,200: “A dependent of any age” would qualify a person for the extra $500.
According to CJNet, in the first round of checks, “the cutoff to receive a $500 dependent check was age 16 and younger and college students under 24 were not eligible to receive a check.”
A Countering Proposal Would Give All Dependents Checks
However, there’s a counter proposal by a group of Senators that would send Americans $1,000 checks, according to a press release sent out by the GOP senators. Thus, the final amount is going to depend on how negotiations turn out in the Republican controlled Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently said that could take weeks to unfold, not days, which could push a second stimulus check into September.
Here’s the thing about the counter proposal, though; if that plan were adopted, some Americans who received nothing last time would get checks. The $1,000 checks would go to Americans “regardless of age or dependent status.”
“The Coronavirus Assistance for American Families Act would provide payments of $1,000 for adults and children with Social Security numbers (SSNs). A family of four would receive an additional $600 more than under the CARES Act,” a press release from U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mitt Romney (R-UT), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) reads.
Their plan would:
Disburse Economic Impact Payments of $1,000 for both adults and children with SSNs equally, $2,000 if filing jointly. A family of four would receive $4,000.
Includes eligibility for adult dependents, including those with disabilities or college students.
Includes eligibility for US citizens married to foreign nationals but does not include eligibility for foreign nationals or ITIN filers.