Representatives Danny K. Davis and John Yarmuth Lead Bipartisan Effort to Increase Access for Homeless and Foster Youth to Economic Impact Payments


May 4, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC –This week, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) led a bipartisan letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig to advocate a simple, expedited procedure for vulnerable youth – including homeless and foster youth - to receive Economic Impact Payments when they may have been claimed as dependents on their parents’ tax returns.  In an effort to speed Economic Impact Payments to taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service is required to use 2019 tax returns, or 2018 if the 2019 tax return has not been filed, to calculate payments.  However, this approach presents substantial hardship to homeless youth and former foster youth who now are independent and providing their own support. These youth and young adults no longer reside with, or receive any support from, their parents and need these critical Economic Impact Payments during the coronavirus public health crisis.


The bipartisan letter was supported by a number of organizations that advocate for vulnerable youth, including: Child Welfare League of America; Children’s Defense Foundation; Covenant House International; First Focus Campaign for Children; Foster Club; Forum for Youth Investment; National Network for Youth; National Youth Employment Coalition; SchoolHouse Connection; and YouthBuild USA.


“May is Foster Care Awareness month,” Davis said. “Helping former foster youth and homeless youth access their stimulus payments is not a theoretical issue. There are independent young adults in Chicago and across the U.S. who cannot claim these critical funds even though they are solely responsible for their survival. Advocating for vulnerable youth is a bipartisan issue. I am hopeful that the Secretary will use his authority to help these young adults, as he has done to help Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, VA, and Rail Road Retirement beneficiaries.” 


Yarmuth stated,“As we work to best address the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important that our homeless youth and other vulnerable young people are not allowed to further slip through the many cracks that sadly exist in our nation’s safety net. We must do all we can to ensure that the Economic Impact Payments made available through the CARES Act get to their intended recipients, regardless of their housing status. I’m proud to join my colleague, Representative Davis, in calling for an expedited procedure to make sure these young people receive the relief they are entitled to.”