Adult dependents eligible for $1400 in COVID-19 relief bill

Following December’s smaller COVID-19 relief bill that brought $600 checks to each American adult and provided other forms of aid to businesses and state health programs, President Joe Biden and democrats are nearing the approval of a much larger, $1.9T bill. The Senate voted 50-49 to move this bill to a final vote in the House that will take place in the coming days.

According to the Associated Press, here are the highlights of the bill that may affect University of Central Oklahoma students: 

Adult dependents make up a significant amount of college students, but they were not included in the financial relief provided by the previous two stimulus packages. In what Biden is calling the “American Rescue Plan”, parents will now receive $1400 per dependent, even if they are adult dependents. A caveat with the new stimulus is that single taxpayers making more than $80,000, or households making more than $160,000 per year will not be eligible for the direct payments. 

For those who are unemployed, benefits to federal unemployment aid have been expanded to provide an extra $300 per week through Sept. 6. This is in addition to what expanded benefits each state is providing for citizens. 

Universities across the country are set to receive $40 billion in assistance, “with the money used to defray an institution’s pandemic-related expenses and to provide emergency aid to students to cover expenses such as food, housing and computer equipment,” says AP. 

$46 billion will be routed to federal, state and local testing and vaccination programs to assist in administering tests and vaccinations. UCO, through Passport Health, has held a vaccine clinic on campus that may benefit further from this aid. This morning, UCO said in a statement that Wednesday’s Passport Health clinic is full, but that “future clinics will be announced via UCO email with a link to sign-up as the clinics are approved based on the designated priority groups and vaccine eligibility.”

Families with children are being given larger tax breaks for each child in the relief bill as well. Each child under the age of 6 will qualify for a $3,600 tax break, and children between ages 6 and 17 will qualify for $3,000. AP says that “Under current law, most taxpayers can reduce their federal income tax bill by up to $2,000 per child.” 

Lastly, $30 billion will be used to assist low-income households and those who are unemployed pay their rent and utilities.

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