New stimulus checks: Hope College dependents are included

On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package for Americans during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The bill includes provisions for $1,400 checks for most Americans making up to $75,000 a year, and double that for married couples making $150,000 and under. Additionally, the package extends the expanded unemployment benefits, expanding the $3,600-per-child tax credit for families, and $130 billion to help support schools and colleges reopening to in-person instruction, among many more benefits for Americans. The IRS expects most of the checks to reach Americans’ accounts by March 17, but some received it the day after Biden signed the bill into law.
The $1,400 stimulus checks are also available to some adult dependents, including college students dependent on their parents or guardians, and many of the elderly or people with disabilities who are dependent on someone else. These provisions differ greatly from the last round of stimulus checks in the COVID-19 pandemic, and each dependent should receive the same amount as the taxpayer, according to CNBC. The payments are based on the listed income from the most recent year of taxes filed, and these payments should be received automatically.
The package was passed along party lines, with no Republicans supporting the bill. However, the stimulus package appears to be popular, and according to a Pew Research poll, 70% of American adults support the stimulus package, including 41% of Republicans. In contrast, 94% of Democrats say they support the bill. Many Republicans saw the bill as too expensive and fiscally irresponsible. However, Democrats have claimed this as one of the greatest anti-poverty bills passed yet in Congress.
The package is expected to alleviate the pressures many working families have faced since the start of the pandemic, such as job losses, child care costs and more. For college students, the stimulus package also allows for economic relief for themselves and their families throughout the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. The unemployment rate is currently 6.2%, which is about double the pre-pandemic rate, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
For freshman Ellie DiLeonardi, the relief the package provides will greatly impact her community by supporting adults with disabilities. “I think it makes sense to give money to the essential workers, obviously, and adult dependents, and especially those with disabilities. My parents are very involved with my church’s ministry, which supports adults with disabilities through housing programs. These programs support around ten special needs adults and their caregivers. Usually, those adults have smaller jobs, but they can’t go in and work as much since some of them are immunocompromised.”
President Biden, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Harris, and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff are expected to visit many different states over the coming days and weeks to talk to community members about the issues they are facing as a result of the pandemic and about how the new relief package can best help their communities.

Claire Dwyer ('24) is a current Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Anchor. Joining as a News Writer fall of a freshman year, she has enjoyed the opportunity to connect with the campus community through journalism!

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