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Bill extends COVID-19 relief payments to older dependents, college students

The All Dependents Count Act would expand the definition of dependent, so any dependent over the age of 16 would qualify for direct payment.
Credit: AP
In this file photo from Jan. 3, 2019, the House of Representatives chamber is seen on the first day of the 116th Congress. The Covid-19 pandemic is raising the issue of how Congress should be able to function during times of national crisis as House members return to the Capitol, Friday, March 27, 2020, to pass a $2.2 trillion package to ease the coronavirus pandemic's devastating toll on the U.S. economy and health care system. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file)

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) announced legislation Saturday, April 4 that would make more people eligible for COVID-19 relief checks. 

Under the bipartisan coronavirus relief package, which was passed last week, each adult will receive a stimulus payment of $1,200 and they will get $500 per child, for taxpayers who make less than $75,000 individually or $150,000 jointly. 

However, no money will be provided for dependents who are older than 16, and these dependents are unable to claim the payment for themselves. The stimulus checks exclude older dependents, like college students or those who are disabled. 

RELATED: Verify: No, the stimulus check won't be deducted from your tax refund next year

The bill proposed by the Michigan senators ensures dependents 16 and older would qualify for the $500 increase. 

Stabenow said the existing legislation is "unfair" to parents and caregivers who have older dependents. 

"Most Michigan residents will be receiving direct payments, but the law left behind 17- and 18-year-olds, college students, and other dependent adults," she said. "This new bill will make sure taxpayers receive the $500 payment for all their dependents."

RELATED: When will your federal stimulus check arrive?

Peters said that the legislature needs to work to ensure that families have relief and support available to them. 

"I’m pleased to cosponsor this bill, which will ensure adults that have dependents they care for – including 17 and 18 year-olds, college students and those who are disabled – receive the much-needed support to help them get through this crisis," said Peters. 

The payments are structured as a tax refund and they are administered by the IRS. 

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