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UMBC students are eligible for stimulus checks, but do they know how to get them?

Americans have waited in anticipation for the 1,400 dollar stimulus check that was approved by President Joe Biden in March. However, the guidelines for receiving the check have been murky at best. College students and individuals listed as dependents, which many University of Maryland, Baltimore County students fall under, are one of the groups who are left wondering if they will get the check or not.

According to CNBC, each wave of stimulus checks requires certain income thresholds to determine who is eligible. There is a third wave of checks coming this month for those who have not yet received one. 

To receive a stimulus check, you must make under 80,000 dollars per year, 120,000 dollars as a head of household, or 160,000 dollars as a married couple. The IRS will determine eligibility based on 2019 or 2020 tax returns, whichever was filed most recently.

College students are usually listed as dependents. For this round of stimulus checks, dependents over the age of 17 will receive the full 1,400 dollar stimulus package. However, the check will be sent to the adult or adults that claimed the dependent. 

As long as you meet any of the above requirements and you filed your taxes with a valid social security number, you will receive the 1,400 dollar stimulus check. 

Sophomore information systems major Shehzan Daya recently received his stimulus check via direct deposit. “I filed independently and got the stimulus check. We have a family accountant and he said it would be better if I filed independently to get my check,” Daya explained. 

This is the first time dependents were eligible for stimulus checks. The first two stimulus packages excluded adult dependents 17 years and older.

Unfortunately, even if a college student is living on-campus instead of in their parents’ household, the IRS typically still considers them to be dependents if they are under the age of 26. Therefore, even though many college students work and pay their own bills, they were ineligible for the past stimulus checks. 

“We should get the stimulus checks because we work hard just like everyone else,” said junior media and communications major Remi Sijuwade, reflecting on how she and many other students were left out of the previous checks. 

For dependents who did not receive their checks last year, they may be eligible for reimbursement on those checks if they are now listed as independent and they do not exceed the income threshold. If you feel like you should be eligible for the first two checks, but you never received them, cnet suggests filing a Recovery Rebate Credit claim. You can file this claim on the IRS 2020 Form 1040

Daya and many other dependents are still waiting on their 1,400 dollar checks this time around. Unfortunately, the IRS have not issued any specific dates that dependents can expect their checks to arrive. If you are having trouble getting your stimulus, the IRS directs dependents to go to their Get My Payment portal.