A second stimulus check passed on March 10, sending $1,400 to qualifying Americans. This comes after the December stimulus check that gave Americans $600, which many called insufficient, lobbying for $2,000 instead. With the passing of this COVID Relief Bill, that $2,000 demand has been reached.
COVID-19 has left thousands without jobs and put a strain on businesses, with an unemployment rate of 6.2% in February according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The goal of the stimulus check is to help those struggling financially while also helping boost the economy and preventing a recession. Urban Institute estimated the passing of the COVID-19 Relief Bill will reduce the poverty rate from the predicted 13.7% without the bill to 8.7% this year.
This stimulus check gives $1,400 to each individual earner making under $80,000 or joint filers making under $160,000. It also gives legal guardians $1,400 per dependent of any age. This is a new addition from the previous two stimulus checks that didn’t include people aged 17 or older.
Sophomore biology major Victoria Petersen wishes college dependents would have gotten the stimulus instead of their parents.
“I think that college-age dependents being included in the stimulus is very helpful, however, I think that it’s unfair that the money goes to their parents,” said Petersen. “I have friends who are entirely independent yet claimed as dependents against their will and their parents won’t give them any of their stimulus. Sure, if the parents needed the stimulus to get by, but that hasn’t been the case from what I have seen.”
This is how many college dependents have felt throughout all three stimulus checks, but this is the first time parents have gotten any extra money for them. College students were one of the groups laid off or furloughed the most last year as colleges closed.
Besides the stimulus, the bill also included sending billions of dollars to help schools and colleges reopen and additional funding for vaccine distribution. With this additional vaccine funding, there should be enough vaccines for every eligible American by June at the latest. Some predictions show as soon as April.
As vaccines allow us to approach the possibility of a return to normal, many Americans are still struggling after an unprecedented year, so this stimulus serves to help those in need.
Photo credit: CNN