HUNTINGTON — There are an estimated 12 million Americans still eligible to receive stimulus funds from the federal government, but time is running out for them to collect.
The Internal Revenue Service is coordinating with organizations like Legal Aid of West Virginia to reach those millions of Americans and have them apply for the $1,200 per person and $500 for each qualifying child “economic impact payment” granted by the CARES Act. These are Americans who did not file taxes in 2018 or 2019, likely due to economic status.
Eligible people who don’t normally file a tax return need to sign up by 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at IRS.gov. The filing tool is designed for people with incomes typically below $24,400 for married couples and $12,200 for singles. This includes people with no income and those who are experiencing homelessness. To be eligible, a person can’t be claimed as a dependent by someone else. People who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement or veterans benefits, but didn’t receive a $500-per-child payment with their own economic impact payment, can also use the tool by Nov. 21 to get the payment for their child.
“Those 12 million are the people who need the money the most,” said Richard Morris, staff attorney for Legal Aid of West Virginia. “They may be transient, experiencing homelessness and facing an extraordinary financial crunch at this time. This will go a long way to elevate the financial strain. It’s vitally important.”
To assist the IRS in finding these Americans and because they already work with this population, Legal Aid of West Virginia is educating its attorneys about the deadline so they can work with clients to get them to apply, Morris said.
Anyone who misses the Nov. 21 deadline can claim the payment as a credit by filing a 2020 federal income tax return, if they’re eligible, but applying now is the quickest way to receive the stimulus payment. Those with a bank account can have the funds deposited directly. Otherwise, the funds will be sent by check.