"Nationally, an estimated 12 million low-income people already eligible to receive Economic Impact Payments (EIPs, or "stimulus" payments) may not automatically receive the benefit because they don't file annual tax returns with the IRS. This gap exists for two reasons; their incomes are not high enough to owe federal income tax. Or, unlike other low-income adults and children identified through federally administered assistance programs, they do not receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or certain veteran benefits.
To receive EIPs, eligible individuals must file a simple form with the IRS by October 15. Unfortunately, many are unaware of this process or do not have access to the form. To address this gap, NJPRF is joining the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and other national organizations to reach these individuals. We encourage you to use your networks to share the information and help those dealing with barriers.
To aid in the effort, the CBPP released an analysis — with state-by-state data — of these 12 million people. The report also provides recommendations for steps that governors, state agencies, community service providers, and others can take to better enable these vulnerable individuals to claim the sizeable stimulus payments ($1,200 per adult and $500 per child) for which they qualify.
This is an ambitious effort with so much potential, and we encourage you to help if you can. Here are some actions you can take:
Inform your grantees and other foundation partners, as well as state leaders, human services agencies, and non-profit and community-based groups, about the outreach effort and the need for it — and the numbers of people in your state who are at risk of missing out. Please feel free to share the Center's analysis containing these data on social media.
Encourage grantees and their networks that are concerned about these individuals to take steps to reach them and, when feasible, assist them in filing for the payments — or help connect these individuals with organizations or agencies that can assist them. The Center's outreach resources — available through our Get it Back campaign, which has promoted refundable tax credits and free tax filing assistance for more than 30 years — include tips on how to do this.
Become a partner in the EIP Outreach Campaign that the CBPP and others are developing. You can join the growing group of national organizations committed to helping the estimated 12 million eligible people get their EIPs.
The above study shows non-filers eligible for payments are disproportionately people of color because they are likelier to have lower incomes due to historical racism and ongoing bias and discrimination. Twenty-seven percent of the 9 million people are Black — higher than their share of the U.S. population (12 percent) — while another 19 percent are Latino. Ensuring low-income people of color receive payments for which they qualify is especially crucial given emerging evidence that they are being hit hardest by both the economic and health effects of the pandemic."