Can you get your own stimulus check? This is what it takes to qualify for one as an adult

Can you get your own stimulus check? This is what it takes to qualify for one as an adult

Though a second stimulus check of up to $600 per person is on its way to millions of Americans, about 13 million young people aged 17 to 24 who are listed as dependents on their family’s taxes are not eligible to receive stimulus money, due to a tax code definition of “child dependent.” The same was true of the first stimulus payment last year. And if you do count as a child dependent, you still don’t get your “own” money — but a sum of $600 per qualified dependent will be added on to your family’s share.

This can get complicated, and may leave you wondering: When is it possible for me to qualify for a stimulus check of my own? Below, we’ll explain what happens depending on your situation, including if you’re in the military, if you’re a student, if you live on your own and are employed, if you receive SSI or SSDI, if you’re married or a parent or if you’re in a child support situation.


Some young adults could retroactively get the original stimulus payment of up to $1,200, as well as the second stimulus payment of up to $600 — keep reading for more information. Our second stimulus check calculator can estimate your potential payment if you’re curious. And here’s how to find out what priority group you are in, and how to track delivery of your new stimulus check.

 Does the IRS count you as a dependent or an adult?

The first stimulus payment sent out under the March CARES Act allocated up to $1,200 for qualifying American adults, and $500 for the dependents listed on their 2019 tax returns — so long as they were age 16 or younger. The second stimulus payment, which is being sent out now under the $900 billion bill passed in December, allocates up to $600 per qualifying American adult and $600 for the dependents listed on their 2019 tax returns, who were age 16 or younger at that time. While the amount of money has changed from the first check to the second, the rules for who qualifies as a child dependent have not.

To qualify for your own stimulus check, you need to have filed your 2019 taxes independently, which means no one else claimed you on their taxes as a dependent. You also had to have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of under $75,000 to receive the full amount. (The sum decreases as your AGI goes up, and this time around, if you make over $87,000 as a single taxpayer, you aren’t eligible for a check.)

There are two different sets of rules for who counts as an adult or a dependent under current tax law, according to Janet Holtzblatt, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

One is the support test. If you’re unmarried, you don’t claim children as your own dependents, your parents provide you with financial support equal to or greater than half of your annual income and you made less than $4,200 in 2019, then your parents can still claim you as their dependent. Another is the residency test: If you’re a full-time student under the age of 24 who resides with an adult taxpayer more than half of the year (unless you’re living on a college campus), you can be claimed as a dependent, no matter how much money you make…Read more>>