The COVID pandemic affected everyone from individuals to the global economy. It was the first time in over one hundred years that most of our country closed its doors because of a pervasive health crisis. As more businesses laid off workers, the federal government responded with passage of sweeping legislation to provide aid to eligible Americans.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was a welcome response to the devastation resulting from the COVID pandemic. Millions of Americans received stimulus checks to get the economy going again. The federal government is currently rolling out the third round of stimulus payments. So what does this mean for seniors?
Am I Eligible?
The IRS considers you a senior adult if you are 65 years of age or older before the end of 2020. Eligibility for the third stimulus payment is dependent on your adjusted gross income (AGI), whether you were claimed as a dependent on someone else’s taxes or if you claimed dependents on your latest tax return. Investments or pensions that are taxable income increase your AGI, so eligibility for stimulus checks goes down as your taxable income goes up. Because the tax filing deadline was extended to the 17th of May, the IRS may rely on 2019 tax returns.
For this third round, payments of $1,400 for all dependents, no matter the age, will be added to the household total. Seniors that support an adult, such as a college student, would be eligible for a larger stimulus payment than earlier ones. The current round of stimulus payments targets single filers with an AGI of less than $75,000 annually. Anyone who earned over $80,000 or more will not be eligible for the third stimulus payment.
Will I Get a Stimulus Check if I am on SSDI or SSI?
Individuals over the age of 65 and beneficiaries of Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income were entitled to the first two checks and are also eligible for the third stimulus check.
What If I Don’t File Taxes?
You are not required to file income tax returns if your taxable income falls under a certain level. People who are considered nonfilers do not have to do anything to receive a third stimulus check. Your check will be mailed to the address on file for social security.
What If I Never Received the First or Second Stimulus Payment?
The federal government will allow you to use the Recovery Rebate Credit. This is a special credit for those who were eligible but for whatever reason did not receive one or both of the first issued stimulus payments. If you owe taxes, the Recovery Rebate Credit will reduce the amount you owe, and you will receive the difference if any remains. Otherwise, this credit will be bundled with your tax refund.
I Received A Text Message About My Stimulus Payment, or Someone Called Me Asking for More Information. Is That How the IRS Will Contact Me?
The IRS has many channels to reach you, but random text messages, emails or unsolicited phone calls are usually scams trying to get your personal information. Do not respond to text messages purporting to be from the IRS, and do not answer any questions from someone who calls asking for your social security number or bank information. Ask a friend or family member to review the message or email.The third stimulus payment will likely be the final payment as part of our economic recovery. For more information, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.