Citizens Blocked From Receiving Stimulus Checks Because of Spouse’s Immigration Status


Millions of Americans have already received their stimulus checks from the federal government to help ease the financial burden of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

However, people without valid Social Security numbers and most mixed-status families (families in which not everybody has a Social Security number) will not be eligible for the aid.

An estimated 8 million Americans live with undocumented family members. Approximately 1.2 million Americans who are married to undocumented immigrants, with the exception of members of the military, are ineligible for the coronavirus stimulus check because of their family's mixed immigration status. Despite paying and filing taxes on time, if an American citizen’s spouse is undocumented and they filed taxes jointly, they are ineligible to receive aid via the stimulus plan.

The stimulus package was based on the framework created for the 2008 financial crisis, in which families in similar situations were also excluded, reports CBS New York.

Around 11.3 million undocumented people in the United States are facing the coronavirus pandemic without the promise of aid. Some states have taken matters into their own hands, with New York and California both pledging one-time payments of up to $500 to certain undocumented workers, but with a large number of undocumented immigrants employed in the service industry, by hotels, and as domestic workers, advocates say that the group has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Though there have been some hiccups in the disbursement process, eligible individuals making less than $75,000 a year are slated to receive $1,200 via the stimulus plan, while those who earn between $75,000 and $99,000 will see a gradually reduced payment. Eligible couples will receive up to $2,400, and families with children 16 or younger will receive $500 per child.

Family members of undocumented people are not the only Americans being excluded from the stimulus plan. Families with 17 and 18-year-olds, many of whom are still in school and who were filed as dependents, will not receive a $500 payment for them.

Adults who were filed as dependents, such as college students or some disabled adults, are also not eligible for a stimulus check even if they fit under the financial parameters to receive a payment from the federal government.

Higher-earning eligible households, in which individuals make over $99,000 a year or couples make a combined income of more than $198,000 a year, will not receive stimulus checks either, though they will still receive $500 per child.

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