The year 2020 has been challenging. Many people have lost their jobs or had to take a pay cut as the country tries to get a handle on the coronavirus. If you’re like many people and you’re struggling to make ends meet, you’re not alone. The federal government is making an effort to help by sending stimulus checks, also called Economic Impact Payments (EIPs). The payments, worth up to $1,200 per person and up to $500 additional per child, can help you cover your expenses during these tough financial times.
Don’t Leave YOUR Money on the Table!
The government passed this legislation to financially help everyone suffering from the results of this pandemic. If you haven’t received your payment yet, CWF will help you get it for no charge thanks to a grant from Community Legal Services and our partnership with GetYourRefund.org, part of Code for America.
It’s easy! All you need to do is answer a few simple questions online. You can do it from home on your computer, tablet or cell phone in your sweat pants (or whatever else you want to wear — don’t judge)!
You have to file online to get the payment, so let us know if you need help.
And there’s more good news! Your EIP isn’t taxed!
How Do I Know if I’m Eligible?
You’re eligible if:
- You earned less than $75,000, $150,000 married filing jointly, or had no income.
- You and your spouse (if filing jointly) each have a valid Social Security number (one if military).
- You cannot be claimed as a dependent.
Did You Say Kids Can Get Money, Too?
Well, technically your kids won’t get the money, but you will receive $500 for every dependent child under 17 years of age as long as they have a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number ((ATIN).
Will it Affect My Benefits?
Nope! The money you get from your EIP won’t reduce your benefits from SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, federal rental assistance or other programs. It also won’t affect your unemployment checks. (Go to healthcare.gov for help with health coverage).
What if I Owe Back Taxes or Have Student Loan Debt?
Fortunately, that won’t affect your stimulus payment. You’ll get the full amount.
What if I’m in Arrears in Child Support?
If you are behind in your child support payments, your EIP could be reduced or even eliminated.
Don’t Get Scammed!
It’s sad, but whenever there’s money involved, criminals come out in full force and this time is no exception. There are thousands of reports of phishing schemes being sent via emails and texts and through the regular mail. Some of these scams suggest that you can get more money from the government or get your stimulus check faster if you share personal details and pay a small “processing fee.” That’s just not true! There are no shortcuts (paid or otherwise) to getting your stimulus check.
How to Avoid a Scam
- The IRS will never contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media, to request personal information, including banking. If you are contacted through any of those methods, it’s a scam. The IRS will only correspond with you through regular mail.
- The IRS will never charge a processing fee. If you’re asked to pay a processing fee, it’s not legitimate and you’re getting scammed.
- Some criminals also offer opportunities to use your EIP to “invest” early in companies working on a vaccine for the disease, promising a dramatic return on investment. According to IRS-CI, these promotions are often styled as “research reports,” make predictions of a specific “target price,” and relate to micro-cap stocks or low-priced stocks issued by the smallest companies with limited publicly available information. Be wary of any company that reaches out to you directly about investments.
Do You Qualify for an EIP?
If you haven’t received your EIP yet or have questions about your qualifications, get started with CWF today and one of the skilled and experienced professionals at CWF. We’ll work with you to make sure you get your payment. We’re always on your side.