The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorized payments to be made to many people. These are referred to as “economic impact payments”.
There has been a lot of confusion about exactly how this will work. Because people with disabilities are facing increased costs during the pandemic and because our community is disproportionately poor to start with, NCIL and other advocacy organizations have been working to ensure that the confusion is cleared up and that everyone who is entitled to a payment can access it.
Last Friday, the Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul released a statement. He has cleared up some of our questions, but not all of them.
Individuals who make up to $75,000 a year, and married couples who file joint tax returns who make up to $150,000, are eligible to receive the full payment of $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples. There is also a $500 supplemental payment per child. People with higher incomes will receive smaller payments.
If you are required to file taxes, the government is requiring 2018 or 2019 tax returns in order to receive your economic impact payment. If you have filed taxes for 2018 or 2019, you have already done what you need to do. The IRS will automatically generate economic impact payments.
Read more about payment amounts, how the IRS will send payments, and additional information at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) web page Economic impact payments: What you need to know.
If you are required to file taxes but have not done so yet, you must do so in order to receive a payment.
Many people receiving Social Security benefits are not required to file taxes. The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns, and who receive an SSA-1099 form, will have the information on their SSA-1099 form used to determine their eligibility and automatically generate their economic impact payment. Therefore, if you are not required to file taxes and have received an SSA-1099 form, you have already done what you need to do.
If you would like to obtain another copy of your SSA-1099, read about how obtain your SSA-1099 without visiting a field office.
People who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Affairs (VA) Disability Compensation or Veterans Pension do not get an SSA-1099 or similar form. While Commissioner Saul’s statement clarified that SSA is working with the Department of the Treasury to address questions regarding SSI recipients, there still is not a clear process from the government on how people who are not required to file taxes but do not receive SSA-1099s will receive their economic impact payments.
Earlier this week, the Social Security Advisory Board sent a letter to Commissioner Saul urging action related to relief payments for SSI recipients. NCIL also signed on to a Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities letter (PDF) to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Social Security Commissioner Saul, and VA Secretary Wilkie urging them to work together to ensure people receiving SSI or VA Disability Compensation or Veterans Pension benefits can also receive their payments automatically, without being required to file taxes. We are still waiting for a process to be finalized.
Lastly, many people on means-tested programs like SSI and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have wondered whether the economic impact payments will put their benefits at risk. Because the economic impact payment is structured like a tax refund, it will not count as income, and recipients will have 12 months to spend the payment before it counts toward resource limits. The American Taxpayer Relief Act excludes Federal tax refunds and advance tax credits from resource counting for 12 months and applies to benefits or assistance “under any Federal program or under any State or local program financed in whole or in part with Federal funds”.
NCIL is following this all closely, and we will send an updated alert when we have additional information. The Commissioner has indicated that the IRS will provide additional information at www.irs.gov/coronavirus .
By Nancy G. Holman
PARSONS, Kan. - People with disabilities are at higher risk for catching the Corona virus, but their risk may be even higher for being discriminated against when seeking medical treatment for the virus in Kansas, said Shari Coatney, President/CEO of the SKIL Resource Center.
“Based upon the guidance recently released by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) in their “Toolkit for COVID-19” of February 28, 2020, disabled people in Kansas will be subject to medical treatment rationing protocols, including rationing ventilators that can save their lives,” Coatney said.
On March 27, 2020 the Disability Rights Center of Kansas, Topeka Independent Living Resource Center, Inc. and Tessa Goupil, a 49-year-old disabled mother who uses a ventilator, filed a discrimination complaint against the State of Kansas with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights, alleging discrimination of federal law regarding the guidance protocols, said Coatney.
“Some of our disabled citizens seeking medical treatment in Kansas would lose their lives if this was enforced,” she said. “Even though KDHE has pulled this horrific discriminatory protocol from their website, it was already sent out to medical and healthcare facilities. The fact is, if they don’t send out a formal notification, the medical and healthcare facilities will not know that it has been withdrawn.”
“Because of this deeply flawed guidance protocol, people’s lives are at even bigger risk than from the virus,” Coatney said. “Such blatant and cruel discrimination, especially during a time the entire world is experiencing the deadly Corona virus pandemic, is enormously frightening and absolutely inhumane and illegal.”
“It’s a dangerous world we live in, when we start trying to put one person’s life above another based upon any type of classification,” she said. “I have many customers who have disabilities, and also co-workers and friends. The State of Kansas must value the lives of all people.”
View the Complaint online at: https://www.centerforpublicrep.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Kansas-OCR-complaint-3.27.20-final.pdf
SKIL is a multi-faceted center for independent living that serves all people with disabilities, or those whose environment is disabling. Headquartered in Parsons, SKIL has branch offices in Chanute, Columbus, Fredonia, Independence, Pittsburg and Sedan.
For more information, call Parsons SKIL at 1-800-688-5616 or contact any SKIL office. On the web at: www.skilonline.com .
The NBCUniversal Tony Coelho Media Scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities who are pursuing an interest in the media, entertainment, or communications fields. Each recipient will receive $5,625 to help cover the cost of education.
For more information please visit the AAPD website.
The application deadline is May 21, 2020 and here is the link to apply: https://aapd1995.wufoo.com/forms/m18h47my1w9fpuo/.
Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program!
Applications are now open for AAPD's Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program. This program is designed for young (ages 18 – 30) Black disabled advocates who are committed to boosting voter registration and civic engagement across Black communities leading up to the 2020 elections.
Key benefits to the program:
Participants will receive a $1,500 stipend and work as a cohort to create a national nonpartisan campaign that promotes voter registration and participation.
Interact with experts across the civil rights community to learn about key political issues and gain guidance on building a voting campaign. A couple of partners for the program include: The Leadership Conference, Center for American Progress, Imani Barbarin, Neal Carter, Alliance for Justice, State Voices, and more!
Attend and participate in the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference (September 16 – 20, 2020) in Washington, DC to learn further about voter engagement and to promote their recently launched campaign. *dependent upon regulations with COVID-19.*
The application deadline is April 20, 2020 and here is the link to apply: https://aapd1995.wufoo.com/forms/fannie-lou-hamer-leadership-program/.
This Link https://ckt.net/hotspots/ has the locations of publicly available WiFi Hotspots provided by Craw-Kan in an effort to help kids, parent, teachers and school administrators with internet access due to school closures in accordance with COVID-19 response.
These are simply drive-up/walkup hotspots, and do not cover extremely large areas. Most of these WiFi transmitter radios will only push a signal out a couple hundred feet (at best). These are designed to allow people to come to the locations for short periods and use them to access information, download/upload assignments and other coursework.
A Shari interview on KOAM-TV about the federal complaint against the State of Kansas guiding healthcare providers to ration medical equipment/services especially ventilators. Please call and email the Governor to send new guidance out to healthcare providers that medical rationing will not be tolerated!! Our lives are just as important as anyone else, so if I need a ventilator after getting COVID-19 they better not take it to give to someone else that they see have a better quality of life. Keep calling and emailing—we will keep you posted.
Governor Laura Kelly