With everything else going on, it is easy to forget that the United States Census is going on right now. It is important that we all be counted. Being counted in the census is part of our civic responsibility.
The census helps determine the amount of money that Maryland receives from the federal government, including money for people who have developmental disabilities including services for adults and special education, much of which is funded by the federal government. It helps determine how many elected representatives we have in the United States House of Representatives. It also makes it easier on the employees of the US Census Bureau so that they do not have to go out during the Coronavirus pandemic to get information from people who have not responded.
If you have not completed your census form, please do so now at https://2020census.gov/ or by calling 844-330-2020 (for Spanish 844-468-2020).
$1,200 Coronavirus Economic Impact Payment
The US Congress passed a law that will give virtually all adults $1,200 as an “economic impact payment” to help them get through the Coronavirus pandemic. As of April 1, the IRS stated that people who receive Social Security benefits (which includes SSI and SSDI) will not need to file a tax return to receive their payment. For more information check at: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus. This money will not be counted against your SSI or SSDI payments. While people who get disability benefits from the Social Security Administration are eligible for the stimulus payment, adults with disabilities who are claimed as dependents by their parents or other relatives on their taxes are not eligible
Asset and income limits do not apply to these payments because these payments are like tax rebates: they “shall not be taken into account as resources for a period of 12 months from receipt, for purposes of determining the eligibility of such individual (or any other individual) for benefits or assistance (or the amount or extent of benefits or assistance) under any Federal program or under any State or local program financed in whole or in part with Federal funds” (26 U.S. Code § 6409). This means that people with disabilities can accept these payments without putting Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other benefits at risk.
Three Things to Know About Stimulus Payments
Here are three things for ABLEnow customers to know:
1. Many Americans with disabilities are eligible for a stimulus payment. According to U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file to receive a payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. However, some people who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the economic impact payment. Families will receive up to $500 for each eligible child they claim as a dependent on their tax return. But adults who can be claimed as a dependent by someone else may not receive a payment.
2. Stimulus payments of this kind are not treated as income by federal programs (or state or local programs which are financed with federal funds) and are disregarded as resources for 12 months (26 U.S. Code § 6409). According to The Arc, this means that people with disabilities can accept these payments without putting Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other benefits at risk.
3. Many Americans will need to use their stimulus payment for urgent expenses. But ABLE-eligible individuals may want to consider saving all or a portion of their payment in a tax-advantaged ABLEnow account. If funds aren’t needed immediately, the stimulus is an opportunity to build an emergency fund, invest for the future, and have money available on your ABLEnow Card when you need it most.
The vast majority of Americans do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the payment to those who are eligible. Additional details will be posted to irs.gov/coronavirus.