Tuesday, September 2, 2008

More Than 100,000 Washington Residents Have Not Claimed Federal Economic Stimulus Payment

Although it's a little bit outside of the scope of our blog, our friends at the Washington Tax Fairness Coalition have asked us to spread the word on this important issue. We're happy to help, and we hope you'll pitch in by passing this information along as well.

100,000+ Low Income Washingtonians Have Not Claimed Federal Stimulus Checks -- There is Still Time … Help Spread the Word!

The Center on Budget & Policy Priorities reports that there are 116,099 low-income seniors, disabled veterans and others with disabilities in Washington State alone who are at risk of losing out on their federal economic stimulus payments.

The payments are worth at least $300 per person/$600 for a married couple – more for some filers raising children or grandchildren under 17.

That’s more than $34 million in unclaimed payments that should be in the hands of low-income Washington residents.

As prices for food and gas (and everything else) continue to rise, these stimulus checks can make a huge difference for those low-income individuals and families.

Eligible people still have until October 15th to file for their payments.

Help us get the word out to those in Washington State who could really use the extra money.

Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma and Vancouver all rank in the top 100 cities nationwide with unclaimed payments.

Who is eligible?

· Individuals with income from work, earnings from Social Security benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Veterans’ disability benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits – or ANY combination of pay for work and/or earnings from any of these benefits worth a total of at least $3,000 in 2007.

· Individuals must have a valid Social Security number (spouse too if filing a joint return).

· Individuals cannot be claimed as a dependent on another’s tax return.

Eligible people MUST file a 2007 federal tax return (Form 1040A) for 2007 to get their economic stimulus payment – even if they don’t normally file a tax return!

Why is outreach needed?

· This is a group that has too little income – or nontaxable benefits – to be required to file an income tax return. Many probably have not done so for years, since they retired or became disabled.

· They may not realize that they MUST file a return to get the payment.

· They may mistakenly fear that receiving the economic stimulus payment might endanger their eligibility for retirement, disability or other public benefits like Medicaid, SSI and Food Stamps.

Please reach out to your members and constituents and urge them to spread the word: it will be shame if low-income seniors and people with disabilities miss this opportunity!

For questions or information contact Ben Secord, WTFC Organizer at (206) 621-8213 or send Ben an e-mail. Thanks for your support.

-- Dennis

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