By. Jacqueline Hood
Chattanooga, Tenn. (mocsnews.com) — To help stop a large drop in the economy, the U.S. government is preparing to send out direct payment stimulus checks to help individuals across the country maintain financial stability amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Urban Institute and Brookings Institution’s Tax Policy Center estimated that nine in 10 households would get some payment up to $1,200 per person, plus an extra $500 per child to parents. However, a large American demographic are being left out of these relief packages — many college students and their families.
According to the official mandates of the coronavirus relief package, any person over the age of 18 who is claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return is not eligible for an individual stimulus payment. That means college students whose parents pay for more than half of their expenses and claim them on their tax returns, won’t get payments, nor will their parents.
The outbreak of the coronavirus has thrown the lives of many around the world out of order. This rapidly spreading illness causes respiratory failure, quickly claiming the lives of 1,341,907 people worldwide. To help stop the spread of the virus, U.S. officials have implemented a quarantine order, telling all Americans to practice social distancing, by staying home unless it is absolutely necessary to leave. Consequently, the order of quarantine has caused millions to lose their jobs, resulting in a record breaking number of 10 million Americans applying for unemployment in March. According to Fox Business, benefits vary by state, but the stimulus package increases unemployment assistance by $600 a week on top of the normal payout for up to for months. Some states may be ready to release the extra $600 payments within the normal time, but as demand grows and some states hold out waiting for federal money, unemployment payouts could potentially take over a month for others.
Adding to the isolation, thousands of schools have closed across the U.S. forcing college students who live in campus housing to pack up and go back home.
“I’m sure I won’t be able to get a job when I go back to my parents because of this whole social distancing thing,” campus worker since 2018 Aliayah Johnson said.
“I really enjoyed working in the UC though and will really miss seeing everyone.”
This has been a stressful time for students, because many like Aliayah have lost their jobs and sense of financial independence.
“I don’t think this is fair to us as young adults, we have been through so much in just a few weeks,” UTC student Jennifer Menendez said. “Most of us work while in school and we don’t have that anymore, why should we be left with nothing because we get help from our parents?.”
There are some refunds that students will receive from their institution, like costs of meal plans, housing, and parking passes that can help ease the frustration many students are feeling with their finances.