Dependents and the American Rescue Plan

2 min readMar 29, 2021

On March 11, President Biden signed off on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which grants eligible citizens a maximum amount of $1,400 worth of federal aid. Since, stimulus checks have been rolling out to millions of Americans and will continue to reach more in the coming weeks.

A concern for many college students — what about dependents? Dependents over the age of 16 were not considered in the first and second round of stimulus packages; however, with this third installment, dependents are included. In fact, each eligible dependent qualifies for a payment of $1,400 as well.

That could mean as many as 26 million more people will be eligible for a direct payment from the federal government, according to a report from the American Enterprise Institute. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) said previously there was “no clear policy rationale” for excluding adult dependents from the first two rounds of payments, consequently ignoring “the struggle of many families with dependents who are not minor children.”

How does this work? Anyone who is claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return will not receive a stimulus check, meaning no separate payment can be made to dependents living at home or school. The payment is instead included in the check to the person claiming the dependent. For example, if a parent claims you as a dependent, the additional $1,400 will be a part of their initial stimulus check.

Of course, these payments phase out according to adjusted gross income. Individuals earning between $75,000 and $80,000 or couples earning between $150,000 and $160,000 are ineligible for stimulus benefits.

Additionally, the third payment will be based on either 2019 or 2020 income, depending on if a taxpayer has already filed their tax return for last year. Qualifying dependents need to be claimed during that tax year.

To check out the status of your stimulus payment, with regards to eligibility and tracking, or to learn more, access the IRS “Get My Payment” site. This tool allows you to see the status of your stimulus payment, confirm your payment type, and receive a projected direct deposit or paper check delivery date.

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The Collegiate Financial Management Association’s mission aims to promote financial literacy and personal finance skills in order to ensure financial stability.