stimulus check
College and high school students in the US may be eligible to receive a stimulus check under the newly-minted HEALS. Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/Getty Images via AFP

The US government has approved a second COVID-19 stimulus check for citizens; this time, college and high school students may qualify.

The trillion-dollar stimulus package was passed as part of HEALS (Health, Economic Assistance Liability Protection & Schools Act), following the CARES and HEROES Acts. It entitles qualified taxpayers to a one-time, US$1,200 payment.

As of early June, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has distributed close to 160 million stimulus payments to Americans under the CARES Act. Nevertheless, some Americans are still awaiting their first payments.

The distribution of stimulus payments was largely based on 2018 and 2019 tax returns. Children over 16 and college students under 24 did not qualify for this first payment.

stimulus check

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led the Republican proposal for HEALS. Source: Mandel Ngan/AFP

Who is eligible?

Here’s a list of who gets what:

  • US$1,200 for each individual earning under $75,000;
  • US$2,400 for married/ joint filers earning under $150,000;
  • US$500 for dependents (no age cap).

Those earning above those amounts can still receive financial aid. Their payment will be reduced by US$5 for every US$100 of adjusted gross income above the aforementioned income limits — up to US$99,000 for individuals and US$198,000 for married or joint filers.

How college students can qualify for the second stimulus check

There are two scenarios in which you would qualify as a student. First, you could get US$1,200 if you earned income in 2019, filed for a federal tax return, and meet all other requirements under the legislation.

stimulus check

There are two scenarios in which students would qualify for a payment under HEALS. Source: Shutterstock

When the first payments went out in April, some students wrongly received them due to a taxpaying glitch. This time, however, college or high school students listed as a dependant to a taxpaying citizen qualify for a smaller payment of US$500.

While taxpayers could previously only claim for dependents under the age of 17 (under CARES), there is no age limit for dependents receiving the second stimulus payment (under HEALS).

How will I receive payment?

If you are eligible to receive a HEALS payout, chances are you also received the CARES one. The IRS sent out the previous stimulus payments via direct deposit or paper cheques. Besides that, around four million people received their payment through prepaid Visa debit cards.

Early reports indicate that payments will be delivered in the same manner.

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