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Biden wants “mixed status” families to get incentive checks. Here’s what that means



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With the third payment, more incentive checks could go to more mixed-status citizenship families.

Sarah Tew / CNET

US citizenship has been a tricky topic stimulus check qualifications. You have Americans who live abroad, people who live in U.S. territories, and people who live in the U.S. and pay taxes – and suitability may not be the same for everyone.

A wide adaptation in one third stimulus check could benefit all families with mixed status citizenship, who faced strict restrictions on the first payment, and in the second check saw that some households were eligible. President Joe Biden’s stimulus package proposal it is important to include each family in this category as it becomes part of the final bill. The National Immigration Forum estimates that 16.2 million people in the US live in mixed status families, of which 14.4 million are excluded from payment.

The rules all around that meets the requirement for payment are already confusing and often mean turning around between the last years of your federal tax returns and IRS FAQs on Eligibility and Then Some Calculations. (We have a stimulus check calculator That can help with that last part.) To help determine eligibility requirements for a mixed-status family, we explain the IRS definition, which families were and were not eligible for the first two payments, and how qualifications could change with one possible third stimulus control.

What is a mixed status family for stimulus checks?

The federal government categorizes families whose members have different nationality and immigration classifications as “mixed status.” Keep in mind that a mixed status family wants to be eligible for incentive money if one member must have a Social Security number. A household where every family member has a resident or non-resident alien having an ITIN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, instead of a Social Security number, would not meet this requirement.

Here are some examples of mixed status families who would qualify for a stimulus check, where at least one household member has a Social Security number:

  • One spouse is a United States citizen with a Social Security number and the other spouse is not a citizen and does not have a Social Security number.
  • One spouse is a “legal permanent resident” with a Social Security number and the other is not a citizen and does not have a Social Security number.
  • Neither parent is a US citizen or “lawful permanent resident” with a Social Security number, and one child is a US-born citizen with a Social Security number.

We have a handy guide with the ways non-residents may and may not be eligible for payments.


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Which mixed-status households were eligible for earlier payments? Is the incentive money retroactive?

At the first incentive check of the CARES Act, only those with a Social Security number were eligible for benefits. This eligibility requirement can also include “resident aliens” with a Social Security number, the IRS said. But “non-resident aliens” were not eligible. Couples filing jointly were excluded from checks if one spouse did not have a Social Security number. For married couples who filed separately, only the spouse with the Social Security number qualified. Dependents in mixed status families were also excluded.

With the second check, Congress opened the requirements (PDF) to married couples filing jointly where one spouse has a Social Security number and the other spouse does not. A married couple in a mixed-status household filing jointly would be eligible for a second payment of $ 600, just like they would any eligible dependent with a social security number. If the couple files separately, only the spouse with a Social Security number is eligible.

December’s Incentive Act also made the mixed status qualifications retroactively for the first payments. Now an eligible family can apply jointly claim missing first round payments of up to $ 1,200 per couple and $ 500 for each eligible dependent on their taxes this year have a Refund discount.

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Mixed status families may qualify for incentive money.

Sarah Tew / CNET

What could a third stimulus check mean for a mixed-status family?

Before being sworn in as president on January 20, Biden rolled out his $ 1.9 trillion stimulus package that suggested a third stimulus check in front of $ 1,400 per person. This third round of payments would, according to an outline of the plan (pdf), “extend eligibility to adult dependents who have been excluded from previous rounds of relief and all mixed-status households”.

Biden and his administration did not provide details during the rollout as to who would be involved in the expansion and whether there would be a retroactive payment.

While we wait to hear more, here’s the latest on the timeline for a third stimulus check, and how much money your household could make expect to receive with a payment of $ 1,400.


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