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Kaine, Colleagues To Introduce Legislative Fix To Make Older Children And Adult Dependents Eligible For COVID-19 Relief Payments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine joined Senator Tina Smith and 13 of their Democratic colleagues to announce plans to introduce a legislative fix that would make dependents 17 and older count toward what a family gets in direct payments from the bipartisan coronavirus relief package signed into law last week.

“Virginians know the coronavirus pandemic is not just a health emergency, it’s an economic emergency too,” Kaine said. “These rebates were meant to help low- and middle- income families who are struggling and it’s unfair to deny credit for dependents 17 and older, including older children with disabilities and college students. This is a gap that must be closed.”

Under the CARES Act, an economic stimulus payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child will go to taxpayers with incomes below $75,000 for single taxpayers and below $150,000 for married couples. The payment is structured as a tax refund and administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

Under current law, no credit is allowed for dependents older than 16. This means there is no credit allowed for 17- and 18-year-olds, college students, and other dependent adults, such as a disabled parent cared for by the taxpayer—even though a taxpayer is providing the majority of the dependent’s financial support. Further, these dependents aren’t eligible to claim the credit for themselves on their own returns either. 

This situation is unfair to adult dependents and their parents and caretakers. 

The All Dependents Count Act would expand eligibility for the $500 credit so that a taxpayer will receive a $500 credit for all dependents they care for—not just children age 16 and under. The bill will also expand the definition of a dependent for the Recovery Rebates for Individual sections of the CARES Act to include more than under-16 children dependents.

You can access text of the bill here

The All Dependents Count Act is also supported by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Doug Jones (D-AL).

A House companion measure, the All Dependent Children Count Act, has been introduced by Representative Angie Craig (D-MN 2).