WASHINGTON — For millions of Americans awaiting coronavirus cash, help is not on the way.
Although the $2 trillion stimulus bill passed last month includes payments of up to $1,200 for everyone who makes less than the limit, many Americans will fall through the cracks. That includes most college kids, immigrants without Social Security numbers, and some disabled adults.
Why so many gaps? Part of it is the urgency that faced Congress as it rushed to get money to Americans as fast as possible. There wasn’t much time to fine-tune the bill to address every contingency. Lawmakers opted to base eligibility on tax returns, even though many people don’t file them.
Congress also wanted to ensure that the money goes to those who really need it now. Most Americans could use some extra cash even in the best of times. But some people’s livelihoods have been more directly affected by the pandemic than others.