OPINION: Adult dependents deserve stimulus payments


Photo credit/ Jennifer Flynn

Assistant Opinion Editor Victoria DeFrancis talks about the exclusion of adult dependents from stimulus checks.

Victoria DeFrancis, Assistant Opinion Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic has been dragging on for over a year now, and Americans have been suffering the destruction and downfalls ever since. It is unbelievable to think that I am living through a pandemic that will surely be in future history books.

With the lockdowns and record unemployment, money became a constant worry. In 2020, the Senate passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill called The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, in response to the pandemic.

However, those who are considered adult dependents ended up being excluded from these payments. Throughout two rounds of stimulus checks, eight months apart, adult dependents were not included. The only people eligible to be considered payment were dependents younger than 17 years old. Those with these dependents received $600 in aid.

According to Forbes, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) drummed up statistics estimated from the CARES Act. A total of approximately 5 million adult dependents were excluded from the $600 and $1,200 payments. This applies to adult relatives and elderly parents that are claimed as tax dependents.

Being a first-generation college student, thinking about the financial situation I would have to face and endure in my future was an instant concern of mine. I am thankful for the opportunity to attend college and gain knowledge and experience, but not all students are as lucky.

On Jan. 14, President Joe Biden released his $1.9 trillion stimulus plan. According to Forbes, Biden is planning to consider past excluded dependents which include 18-year-olds and students 24 years old and younger. The plan may also include adults with disabilities and other older adults that qualify as dependents. It is unsure; however, the actual amount dependents may receive.

CBS News reported that multiple House Democrats sent a letter to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris requesting recurring payments, in response to the ongoing pandemic. The House Democrats’ letter shows that there is a need for occurring payments.

Being a young adult and a first-generation college student, thinking about money is stressful enough. When the financial issues of the pandemic are thrown into the mix it creates an even worst situation. Last March, Senators Bernie Sanders, Ed Markey and Kamala Harris introduced a stimulus bill that included monthly payments of $2,000 in aid due to the pandemic.

The bill is retroactive to March, and it includes a monthly check of $2,000 to every person with an income that is below $120,000. One-time check releases are not enough to keep heads above water, especially during an ongoing pandemic that impacts our lives every single day.

I am in favor of the Sanders, Markey and Harris plan because I believe that the government is extremely well off and can afford to begin continuous payments. A one-time payment cannot support long term expenses.

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