Stimulus checks leave U.S. citizens confused

Morgan Boll, R3 Sports Editor

The U.S. government has been sending stimulus checks from the CARES Act to taxpayers’ bank accounts to help with the declining economy and increasing unemployment rate due to the coronavirus pandemic. These stimulus checks were supposed to be delivered April 15 according to the U.S. Treasury Department. However, millions of Americans are still waiting for their checks to arrive. 

To receive a stimulus check individuals with an income up to $75,000 and couples with an income up to $150,000 will be eligible to receive it. Also, a person must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien, have a valid social security number and can’t be considered a dependent. An eligible person will receive $1,200 and for every child claimed, they will receive another $500. Also, people filing a joint return will get $2,400.

The delayed stimulus checks have left millions of Americans confused and concerned. Many people who have been waiting for the stimulus checks to either arrive in the mail or transferred to their bank account are counting on the money. According to an article in The Washington Post, “The Treasury Department has ordered President Trump’s name printed on stimulus checks the Internal Revenue Service is rushing to send to tens of millions of Americans, a process that could slow their delivery by a few days, senior IRS officials said.”

The president’s name has never been printed on any IRS disbursements before. This is one reason for the delayed stimulus checks. Some people have already received their stimulus checks while others have not. Others who have already received theirs are because they filed tax returns from 2018 or 2019 and have authorized direct deposit from the IRS, so they are going to get paid before anyone else. 

There have also been cases where people have not received the correct amount of stimulus money; however, they are able to communicate with the IRS. According to an article from The Washington Post, “People who receive what they believe is an incorrect amount will have an opportunity to let the IRS know. The agency is required to mail a letter to your last known address 15 days after sending your payment. The letter is supposed to explain how the payment was made and provide instructions on how to report any issues.”

Many college students are expecting a stimulus check; however, most of them won’t be receiving one. A dependent child must be under 17 years old, and most college kids are 17-23 years old. If a college student financially supports themselves and meets all of the other criteria, only then will they receive a stimulus check. 

Many college students have financial support from their parents and therefore do not qualify for a stimulus check; however, some people find this to be unfair. Some college kids have jobs to help pay for college, but are currently unemployed due to quarantine. 

WHS graduate and former Hi’s Eye staffer Lucy Gretsky is a freshman at Wesleyan University where there are a variety of people with different economic statuses. Gretsky explained how many students at the university are frustrated with how the government has been handling the coronavirus pandemic. Gretsky said, “I’m sure many [college students] are upset about not receiving these checks since many of them depend on their work study jobs at school to help pay for college and without the stimulus checks they are suffering.” 

The other issue with the stimulus checks is whether or not the amount allotted is sufficient or not. An article from Forbes magazine said, “Some members of Congress and President Donald Trump have commented that a one-time payment of $1,200 is not enough money for many Americans who have lost their job or faced financial hardship.”

Stimulus checks were last issued during the 2008 Great Recession, and the IRS sent out two checks. If the Emergency Money for the People Act gets passed by the Congress, then it will act as a second round of checks. Americans who would be eligible would receive $2,000 monthly. However, the requirements for eligibility would be much different this time around.