April 04, 2020

Cortez Masto Joins Legislation that Would Make Older Children and Adult Dependents Eligible for COVID-19 Relief Payments

Las Vegas, Nev. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined legislation led by Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) that would make dependents 17 and older count toward what a family gets in direct payments from the bipartisan coronavirus relief package signed into law last week.

Under the CARES Act, an economic stimulus payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child will go to most taxpayers with incomes below $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married taxpayers. The payment is structured as a tax refund and administered by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Under current law, no credit is allowed for dependents older than 16. This means there is no credit allowed for 17- and 18-year-olds, college students, and other dependent adults, such as a disabled parent cared for by the taxpayer—even though a taxpayer is providing the majority of the dependent’s financial support. Further, these dependents aren’t eligible to claim the credit for themselves on their own returns either. This situation is unfair to adult dependents and their parents and caretakers.

“There are many families across Nevada with older dependent children – many of whom are college students or young adults with disabilities – and they deserve the same economic stimulus payments that families with younger children are set to receive from the CARES Act,said Senator Cortez Masto. “I’ll keep fighting to ensure Congress is doing everything it can to support Nevada families who are trying to weather this health and economic crisis.”


The All Dependents Count Act would expand eligibility for the $500 credit so that a taxpayer will receive a $500 credit for all dependents they care for—not just children age 16 and under. The legislation would do this by expanding the definition of a dependent for the Recovery Rebates for Individual sections of the CARES Act to include more than under-16 children dependents. A House companion measure, the All Dependent Children Count Act, has been introduced by Representative Angie Craig (D-MN 2).