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Can I Get a $500 Stimulus Check for My College Student?

Stimulus Check

In December 2019, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was first discovered in Wuhan, Hubei Province, People’s Republic of China, which led to an outbreak and ended up spreading across the world. On March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 outbreak.

Within days of the President declaring a national emergency, schools across the country closed, concerts and social gatherings were canceled, movie theatres were shut down, non-essential businesses were directed to close their doors, and citizens were subject to strict stay-at-home orders. Residents were asked to stay home unless they had to leave the house for groceries, prescriptions, gasoline, or to work at an essential business.

Economic Impact of COVID-19

“The COVID-19 pandemic is confronting every level of the U.S. economy with an unprecedented challenge, and the government must mount a sustained, ambitious economic response lasting months and perhaps years, UC Berkeley economists said in an online forum today,” reported Berkley News.

“We’re definitely headed to something much deeper than the Great Recession, and comparable to Great Depression in depth,” said Jesse Rothstein, director of Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

To help counteract the economic impact of COVID-19, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and it was signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020. As a part of the $2 trillion economic relief package, individuals are to receive $1,200 and married couples who file jointly are to receive $2,400. Parents are also to receive $500 (per household) for each child age 16 and younger.

If you are supporting a college student, you may be wondering if you can receive a $500 stimulus check for them. Unfortunately, the answer is no because parents cannot receive checks for children over the age of 16.

“Can my college student receive their own $1,200 check instead?” It depends. If you claim them as a dependent on your taxes, they cannot receive their own stimulus check. However, if you do not claim them as a dependent and they are fully self-supporting, then they should be able to receive their own stimulus check, with limited exceptions, such as owing back child support. A tax professional should be contacted for all tax advice relating to your situation.