Impact of COVID-19 Stimulus Checks on Property Tax and Rent Rebates for Pennsylvania’s Older Adults and Residents With Disabilities
As part of the COVID-19 relief packages provided by the federal government, qualified United States citizens and resident aliens will be receiving an “Economic Impact Payment,” also being referred to as the “Stimulus Check.”
The COVID-19 Stimulus Check
The Stimulus Check will be automatically mailed to individuals who meet the adjusted gross income requirements. (Simply stated, “adjusted gross income” or “AGI” is your gross income minus certain deductions.) Single filers with AGI up to $75,000 and head of household filers with AGI up to $112,500 will receive a Stimulus Check in the amount of $1,200. Persons who are married filing jointly will receive $2,400 total provided their AGI is less than $150,000. In addition, each eligible person will receive an extra $500 per qualifying child.
For individuals with AGI greater than these amounts listed, there is a reduction in the Stimulus Check payment, which is phased out at $99,000 for single, $136,500 for head of household, and $198,000 for married filing jointly.
To receive the Stimulus Check, most citizens do not need to take additional action. Payments are to be issued to those who: have already filed their tax returns for 2019; have not filed 2019 tax returns but did file in 2018; Social Security and Railroad Retirement recipients; Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients; or, survivor recipients for those programs. If you would like to confirm your status as a non-filer, please visit the IRS website.
The PA 2019 Rebate Program
Although the Stimulus Check will provide some welcomed financial relief, Pennsylvanian older adults and residents with disabilities who normally apply for the PA Property Tax or Rent Rebate Program (“Rebate Program”) are concerned about the impact that payment will have on their eligibility for the 2019 Rebate Program. The good news is that the Stimulus Checks will not be considered income for applicants of the Rebate Program. As a result, applicants should not include the Stimulus Check amount on their Property Tax or Rent Rebate Claim Form (PA-1000).
Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has announced an extension of the deadline for applying for the 2019 Rebate Program from June 30, 2020, to December 31, 2020. Although the deadline has been extended, it is important to remember that rebates are distributed as applications are received; therefore, it is recommended that eligible seniors and persons with disabilities apply as early as possible to hasten their receipt of payment.