La Crosse, WI – Today, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) introduced legislation to ensure college students and adult dependents are eligible to receive federal relief funding in the form of direct payments. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, most families will receive an economic stimulus payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. However, no credit is available for dependents older than 16, meaning that many college students and other dependent adults, such as those with disabilities who are cared for by a family member, are not eligible for relief. This legislative fix will allow thousands of Wisconsinites who were previously excluded, to receive direct economic impact payments.
“With so many experiencing economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure all Wisconsinites receive the support they need,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “College students’ lives were particularly uprooted by this crisis, often losing not only their homes but in many cases jobs as well. These students, those with disabilities, and their families cannot be left without a financial lifeline during these challenging times. This legislation will fill in gaps in the CARES Act by expanding eligibility for economic impact payments and take an important step towards providing further relief.”
“Coronavirus relief payments of $1,200 per adult and $500 per eligible child are already helping workers, families, and seniors get through this unprecedented crisis,” Rep. Jackie Walorski said. “However, I believe it’s only fair to include all adult dependents – not just children under the age of 17 – in families’ direct payments. Providing these extra payments to parents with college-aged children, grandparents raising grandchildren, and families caring for a disabled relative is a commonsense way to get assistance to those who need it.”
“Many students are struggling from the new financial burdens being placed on both them and their families. Many will not see work study funding and will not have the support of their on-campus jobs and part-times jobs relied upon to help pay bills and other living expenses,” said University of Wisconsin-Platteville Student Body President Ben Behlke. “I’m thankful to Rep. Kind for working to support our students during these tough and unprecedented times.”
“I’m grateful that Rep. Kind is looking out for college students by introducing this legislation. Students, like many Americans, have lost our jobs and income because COVID-19, but the bills and rent keep coming,” said Western Technical College Student President Cooper Richason. “Receiving a stimulus check will help keep us afloat as we try to invest in our education while supporting ourselves, our families, and our communities through these uncertain times.”
“Students are facing hardships like everyone else. We know this pandemic is affecting not only how they continue to get the education they want and need, but also how they pay for it and where they live. They should not be left out when Congress acts,” said University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross.
Find the bill text here.