What’s Older Americans Need To Know About Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

reverse mortgage loveland fort collins greeley longmont westminster coloradoAs part of the coronavirus relief program (CARES Act), millions of Americans are already receiving stimulus funds, and millions will continue to do get them over the coming weeks.  The amount an individual will receive depends on their marital status, if they have dependents, and how much income they had in 2018 or 2019. 

Those who receive Social Security benefits will be included in the recipients.  Here’s what they need to know:

1) If you’re collecting Social Security benefits of any kind you are eligible to receive a stimulus check.  This includes retirement benefits, disability benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

You will also need to meet the other eligibility requirements.  Those are: 

  • You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.
  • In order to receive the full $1,200 stimulus check, you must have an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 per year (for individuals), $112,500 per year (for heads of household), or $150,000 per year (for married couples filing jointly). If you’re earning more than those limits, you’ll either receive a smaller check or no check at all.

2)  Most Americans will need to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return to receive their stimulus checks, but that rule doesn’t apply to Social Security beneficiaries.  The Treasury Department has said it will use the information the Social Security Administration already has on file to determine who is eligible to receive the checks.  That means if you’re currently receiving benefits, you shouldn’t need to do anything to get your check. If you normally receive your benefits via direct deposit, that’s how you’ll receive your check as well. If your benefits come in the mail via paper check, you’ll receive a paper stimulus check.

3)  With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have become prime targets for scammers, and unfortunately this is even more serious among senior citizens.  One of the most prevalent are Social Security scams where a fraudster will call, email, or send letters to beneficiaries telling them their monthly checks have been suspended because of COVID-19. Fraudsters will then demand the senior citizen’s personal information or “require” they make a payment to get your benefits reinstated, thus stealing critical personal and financial information.  It’s important every day, but especially important right now to be extra cautious.  Here are my tips to watching out for scams. 

More information can be found at: www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-impact-payments

Jan Jordan is a Reverse Mortgage Specialist serving the Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Erie, Dacono, Fort Lupton and other Front Range areas of Colorado.  Click here to contact Jan and learn if reverse mortgage is right for you.

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