Will Everyone Get a Stimulus Check?

My mom called me a couple of days ago, wanting to fill me in on all the details about the Economic Stimulus Payment. She told me even if you didn’t make any money last year, you can still fill out a Form 1040A and get a check. She told me to be sure to fill one out for my oldest son (he is disabled) as he was eligible as well. She told me she was going to help my youngest sister (who is mentally challenged) fill out her form and she’d be filling one out for herself, too. She told me her significant other doesn’t want to fill out his, and she felt that was like burning money, but she couldn’t force him to send it in.

As she was telling me all these things, I was listening, and thinking to myself that I thought she was getting a lot of facts wrong.

I was pretty sure our oldest son wasn’t eligible, because he gets Supplemental Security Income from Social Security. SSI is not taxable income, and it is not considered earned income. My mom receives Survivor’s Benefits, so I wasn’t sure if she was eligible either. I’m pretty sure my youngest sister receives SSI, too. My mom’s SO receives a small stipend (less than $3K/yr) from the Veteran’s Administration.

The next day at work, I was talking to my boss about the misinformation my mom had given me.

Later in the day, several clients brought in their stimulus packet that they’d received from Social Security. They all had an SSA-1099 within the packet. One of my coworkers, who was present when I was talking to my boss, pointed out to me that recipients of Social Security were eligible, and she said I really ought to look into my son’s eligibility, just in case. At that point, I started wondering if maybe since my son was now an adult, maybe he was getting Social Security Disability Benefits, instead of SSI.

I was still sure I was correct, but I placed a call to Social Security to ask.

I found out that my son receives SSI, not SSD. From what I was told, you can only receive Social Security Disability, if you have worked and paid taxes.

I then called the IRS because I had another question. I wondered if our clients had a stimulus packet from Social Security, weren’t they automatically eligible? I was told we need to ask each person if they are claimed on someone else’s tax return as a dependent, because if they are, they are not eligible, even if they have received an SSA-1099 and stimulus packet from Social Security. Also, box 5 must show at least $3000 or they are not eligible.

So in my son’s case, that’s two strikes against him. He has never been employed, and Mr. A and I can claim him as a dependent.

I called my mom later that evening, and let her know that she should call Social Security and find out if she is eligible as it would be disappointing to think that money was on its way, and then come to find out it was never going to arrive. My mom’s SO stipend is too small, so there is probably no need to fret over him not wanting to fill out his form, either. My youngest sister has never worked, so unfortunately she’s not eligible either.

Mr. A calls me a bubble popper. Well, I would rather have people know the truth, than hope and plan for that money to come in, only to find they weren’t eligible in the first place.

Too bad for my mom, sister and son; however, some people who receive Social Security will be able to claim a check, even if they didn’t work last year. Check out the following links for more information. Maybe someone you know will be one of the lucky ones!

Pertinent Links:
Social Security Legislative Bulletin regarding the Economic Stimulus Check
Internal Revenue Service Facts about the 2008 Stimulus Payments

Several days ago, Mr. Penny over at The Penny Saved contacted me by email and let me know I’d won some advertising space on his page from the credit card cutting contest. I have been sick with a cold and haven’t felt like being at my computer much so I forgot to check my blog email for several days. Check out my new advertising icon to the left. You should see it over at The Penny Saved sometime soon. I just sent the icon over the Mr. Penny. Thanks, Mr. Penny!

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