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3 Groups of People Who Won't Get a Stimulus Check

By Katie Brockman - Apr 1, 2020 at 11:00AM

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Although millions of Americans will receive the benefits, not everyone qualifies.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the daily lives of nearly everyone across the country, and it's also had a major impact on many Americans' finances. With the country likely headed toward a recession, some households are finding it difficult to pay the bills if any members have been laid off or have had their hours reduced.

As a result of the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, however, millions of Americans can look forward to receiving a stimulus check in the next few weeks.

But not everyone is eligible to collect this stimulus money. While approximately 90% of people can expect to receive a check, according to data from the Tax Policy Center, there are a few groups who won't receive extra cash from the government.

Man holding hundred dollar bills

Image source: Getty Images

1. High earners

To qualify for a stimulus check, you'll need to have an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 per year for single filers, $112,500 per year for heads of household, or $150,000 per year for married couples filing jointly. If your earnings fall under those limits, you'll receive the full $1,200 check (or $2,400 for married couples filing jointly).

If you're earning more than those limits, though, you may receive a smaller check or no check at all. For every $100 you earn above those limits, your check will be reduced by $5. So if your income is high enough, you may not qualify for any stimulus money. For those with no children, those income limits are $99,000 per year for single filers, $136,500 per year for heads of household, and $198,000 per year for married couples.

2. Dependents over the age of 16

If you're a parent, you can receive an additional $500 for every dependent age 16 and under. If you have older dependents, they do not qualify for the $500 bonus.

Additionally, adults who are claimed as dependents on someone else's tax return are not eligible for the $500 bonus or their own $1,200 check. This includes college students whose parents still claim them as dependents, as well as adult children under the age of 24 whose parents pay for at least half their expenses. Adults with disabilities as well as seniors who are claimed as dependents are also not eligible to receive stimulus checks.

If you claim someone as a dependent on your tax return, you can still collect a stimulus check, assuming you're eligible. Just know that your dependent may not qualify for one.

3. Anyone who doesn't have a Social Security number

In most cases, you must have a valid Social Security number in order to receive any stimulus money. In addition, if you're married to someone who does not have a Social Security number and you're filing taxes jointly, neither of you will generally be eligible to collect a stimulus check. But there is an exception to that second rule for married couples in which at least one spouse is a member of the military and at least one spouse has a Social Security number. 

The stimulus checks can provide much-needed relief for millions of families who have experienced significant financial hardship due to COVID-19. But before you start planning how you're going to spend your bonus money, double-check that you qualify for the stimulus check.

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