Virus relief bill fails families with dependent college students

A loophole in the multi-trillion dollar stimulus package needs to be addressed.

When President Trump finally passed and signed the coronavirus stimulus package, there was one thing on my mind: what can I do with my $1,200 check? Unfortunately, I forgot to read the fine print that screws me out of my money. You see, as a full-time student over the age of 17 claimed by her parents as a dependent, I miss out on my $1,200 check and both my parents miss out on the $500 given to all claiming dependents 16 and younger.

What gives, U.S. government, you may ask? It’s pretty simple: the government is cheap and doesn’t want to give money, but it still wants to have good PR in these trying times. And for this, they manipulate tax law (glad we elected a bunch of lawyers to our government now, huh?). On the surface, it looks like most people will get relief as the number of unemployed people grow, but that isn’t what a government wants, especially one that’s already in debt. They want a way to seem to be doing the most while spending the least.

You see, there are some asterisks under that “every American gets $1,200.” People that qualify must make under $75k a year, then subtract $50 for every thousand you make on top of that. So, if you make $100k, that really sucks, no money for you, unless you have dependent children. Then you still get your $500 a kid.

Which all seems great unless you don’t get money and still have a need for it, like, for example, those that are stranded at home without an income but are still held responsible for their college debt. That doesn’t apply to anyone reading this, right?

This means that, although everyone preaches about going to college and doing better for yourself, when it comes down to it, Congress doesn’t care what people do to get ahead. It only wants to make things look good.

So here we are, broke, still in school, and staring student debt in the face without any help from the government. I really hope that this entire mess gets fixed in the next bill, because there were several other groups, including disabled Americans, that also got loopholed out of money in this bill. As the global pandemic continues to get worse, there is a strong likelihood that more relief is coming. Maybe this time we might actually see some money. I wouldn’t count on it though. Congress is made up of mostly lawyers, after all.

Post Author: Hannah Robbins