Oregon State University student Austin Goergen started a petition last year to allow dependents 17 and older to qualify for stimulus checks.
Washington lawmakers are one step closer to authorizing new $ 1,400 stimulus checks for millions of Americans.
This time around, a large group could be eligible for the first time: dependents 17 and older.
That’s as long as the bill that the House of Representatives plans to pass and pass to the Senate passes in its current form. The legislation is expected to be finalized in mid-March.
Such a change would be great news for people like Austin Goergen, 20, a student at Oregon State University, who last year started a petition on Change.org when he realized that the first stimulus checks of $ 1,200 would exclude to people like him and his colleagues who had been claimed as dependents.
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Goergen’s petition garnered nearly 5,000 signatures. Still, the second $ 600 stimulus checks authorized by Congress in December continued to exclude people in that cohort, despite some calls on both sides of the aisle to change those terms.
Previous estimates from the American Enterprise Institute have indicated that expanding stimulus payments to dependent adults could make up to 26 million more people eligible for money.
That would generally cover college students, as well as adults with disabilities who may have been claimed by a caregiver.
“It seemed like a really big oversight,” Goergen said.
The new bill will likely require adult dependents to coordinate with those who claimed them and therefore they will receive the money. However, Goergen said it is an improvement over previous payments.
“I think the current bill regarding how it approaches stimulus controls does a much better job,” he said.
Who might be eligible for the new $ 1,400 checks
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The legislative proposal requires payments of $ 1,400 per person, as long as they are below certain income thresholds.
Individuals with up to $ 75,000 in adjusted gross income will qualify for full payments, as will household heads earning up to $ 112,500 and married couples filing jointly with up to $ 150,000.
Checks would be reduced for income above those thresholds and limited to $ 100,000 in income for single taxpayers, $ 150,000 for heads of household, and $ 200,000 for joint taxpayers.
This time, the elimination rates are based on filing status and the number of children you have, said Garrett Watson, senior policy analyst for the Tax Foundation.
“That’s really because they wanted to make sure that taxpayers above a certain income level didn’t get paid,” Watson said.
People should take this into account when determining how much money to expect this time, he said.
As with the $ 600 second stimulus payments, families from mixed status households, where only one spouse has a valid Social Security number, would also be eligible. Payments would go to the qualifying spouse and their children, provided they also have valid Social Security numbers.
The House Ways and Means Committee has called for payments to be based on 2019 or 2020 tax returns.
Provided the legislation is passed without delay, experts expect deposits of $ 1,400 can start arriving by the end of March.