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Will I Receive the $1,200 Coronavirus Stimulus Check if I Am Receiving Social Security and/or Do Not File Tax Returns?

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION (as of April 30, 2020):

If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and you have dependents (qualifying children under age 17) and you did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, you must register now on the IRS website by May 5, 2020 in order to have $500 per child added to your $1,200 Economic Impact Payment. Click here to register on the IRS website.

If you have not received your stimulus check yet and believe you should be eligible for it…

• Use the Get My Payment tool on the IRS website to check the status of your payment and provide your direct deposit information if the IRS does not already have it. Please note that many people have reported that they have accounted a number of glitches and do not always see any helpful information.

• Social Security, survivor and disability non-filers will see economic impact payments in their bank accounts by April 29, according to a Treasury spokeswoman,” as reported by the Washington Post

• SSI non-filers and veterans benefit recipients should begin seeing payments in early May

• Social Security and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries who don’t file tax returns were given until noon April 22 to claim an extra $500 payment for dependents under 17. The IRS sent the notice about the deadline just two and a half days before people had to act. Those who missed the cutoff will get their stimulus payments of $1,200 but will not have to wait until next year to collect the extra $500 per child when they file their 2020 tax return.

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Many people receiving Social Security payments do not make enough to file tax returns. Recent announcements by the federal government indicated that if you did not file tax returns, you would not be receiving the recently announced $1,200 COVID-19 stimulus checks. Abrams Landau law clients, for whom we have won Social Security Disability Income cases and counseled to receive Social Security Supplemental Income and Social Security Retirement benefits, have been calling with questions about this evolving law procedure.

Abrams Landau office street
While the Abrams Landau law office is working at full strength, COVID-19 has caused many business to shut down. The federal government’s CARES Act is supposed to get needed money into Americans’ hands at this critical time.

Herndon personal injury and disability lawyer Doug Landau has been following the unfolding plans to help Americans who are not working. Under the new CARES act, monetary benefits are to be distributed to Americans to help with bills, rent and the COVID-19 crisis. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is in the process of developing procedures for getting stimulus payments to Americans. This process is evolving, and the IRS has not yet worked out the details. The IRS and the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced on April 1st, 2020 that Social Security recipients will not be required to file a tax return in order to receive payments under the CARES Act. The announcement reverses guidelines issued on March 30th, 2020 by the IRS that individuals who have not filed federal tax returns for 2018 or 2019 would need to file a simple return to receive payment. Many Social Security recipients are not required to file tax returns based on their income levels. Payments may be received as early as April 9, 2020. The IRS has just released a new website page where you can easily put in your info if you are a non-filer (someone who has not filed taxes), are eligible to receive stimulus payments and would like to receive them as a direct deposit (automatically to your bank account, which would be the fastest method of receiving your check). Click here to go to the website.

The Treasure Department stated, “Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to take action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account.” The IRS says it will use the information in benefit statements for Social Security recipients and railroad retirees, known as Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099, respectively, to make the $1,200.00 stimulus payments for those who didn’t file tax returns for 2018 or 2019.

Payments will be issued as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as the beneficiary would normally receive their benefits. The vast majority of beneficiaries receive benefits by direct deposit, which would be the best way to ensure you receive your check as soon as possible. Previously, when the federal government announced that Social Security recipients would have to file back tax returns, attorney Landau and the Abrams Landau law team realized what a logistical and paperwork nightmare this would be for retired and/or disabled clients.

In response to the terrible economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the CARES Act calls for stimulus payments to be sent to most Americans based on the adjusted gross income (AGI) reported in their 2019 federal tax returns. Without a 2019 return, the IRS said it would look at 2018 returns to determine eligibility for people for this federal assistance.

Herndon historic district
The economic engine of many towns is their downtown business district. The coronavirus has hit many towns and families hard, so the federal government needs to be focused, coordinated and have a long-term plan.

Individual taxpayers with AGI of up to $75,000, and up to $150,000 for married couples filing jointly, would receive full payments ($1,200 per individual; $2,400 per couple). The payment amount shrinks by $5 for every $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single taxpayers with income above $99,000 and joint filers above $198,000 would not be eligible for a stimulus payment at all. In addition, there’s a $500 stimulus payment to parents for each child under 17.

However, Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who haven’t filed tax returns for 2018 or 2019, and who will receive stimulus payments based on their 1099 benefit statements alone, won’t be immediately eligible for added payments for dependents. “Since the IRS would not have information regarding any dependents for these people, each person would receive $1,200 per person, without the additional amount for any dependents at this time,” according to the IRS. However, attorney Landau notes that he has won a number of Social Security cases for disabled individuals, and later got their children covered as well. These children are already in the Federal payment system, so delaying their payments makes no sense. “The Federal and State government has the information about my clients and their children. Payments should not be delayed,” added lawyer Landau. It is hoped that while the Federal government was slow to act to get infected individuals tested and treated, this new economic stimulus law will help those most in need. Click here for more info about the economic impact payments on the official IRS website.

Herndon, Virginia law office Abrams Landau helps people all along the East Coast with their personal injury, workers’ compensation and/or Social Security Disability cases. If you have any questions, please give us a call (703-796-9555) or email us at Abrams Landau, Ltd.