IRS sends out more than 80 million stimulus checks to ‘eligible’ citizens

Students claimed as ‘dependent’ do not meet criteria for stimulus

The IRS has sent out more than 80 million stimulus check payments to ‘eligible’ citizens. Anyone claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return will not be eligible to receive the check. (Photo courtesy of

With uncertain times and millions out of work due to COVID-19, the government has approved a one time $1,200 stimulus check to all eligible Americans. 

According to the Internal Revenue Service website, anyone who has a “social security number that is valid for employment and is a U.S. citizen,” or a resident of the United States will be eligible to receive a stimulus check; however, to be eligible people must also meet the income criteria.

For American River College and other college students elsewhere, these requirements may mean that some students won’t receive the stimulus check. 

The IRS website states, a person who is claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return is not eligible to receive the stimulus check.  This means anyone between the ages of 17-24 who was claimed as a dependent by their parents during the 2019 tax period, will not be eligible for a stimulus check.  

Jonathan Yacob, a marketing major at American River College, had his work hours dramatically cut, and says he is upset that he will not receive the stimulus check.

“Like everyone else, my hours have been cut substantially. I work about five hours a week, which is down from about 25 to 30 hours weekly,” Yacob said. “Just because we live with our parents and they choose to claim us as dependents doesn’t mean we should be excluded from the stimulus checks.”

If he didn’t have some money saved, Yacob says he would be struggling to get by financially.

“Luckily I have money saved, but if I didn’t, it would be hard to keep up with my car insurance and registration, and food or my phone bill,” Yacob said. 

Some other students from ARC say that they don’t mind that they won’t be able to get the check.

Armani Mitchell, undecided major, says it’s OK he won’t be receiving the check—but would have liked to give it to someone who needs it.

“I’m not too concerned about not getting it for myself right now,” Mitchell said. “If I did get it I would probably give most of it to someone else around my family that needs it.” 

Moajanaé Tolvert, a mass communications major, would have just used the money to buy things that she wanted. 

“It doesn’t bother me [that I won’t get the stimulus check], because we aren’t struggling during this pandemic,” Tolvert said. “I was just hoping to spend it on junk, and maybe even pay something off.” 

The IRS website also states that payment amounts will be reduced by 5 percent if the adjusted gross income exceeds $75,000, and anyone with a child 16 years or younger will receive an extra $500 per child. 

According to the IRS website, more than 80 million payments have already gone out, with more expected to be on their way soon.