Thanks to the outreach efforts of thousands of municipalities, states, and community organizations, 7 million people who were excluded from the automatic delivery of CARES ACT stimulus payments have used the online form. Yet, more outreach is needed to help the remaining 5 million who may miss out on their money this year because they don’t know they are eligible, don’t know how to get their payment, or need help completing the online form.
The deadline for filing is October 15.
Information you can share during these final three weeks must direct people to where they can find help to get their stimulus payments. If organizations in your town don’t offer stimulus assistance, you can refer residents to two national resources.
First, United Way’s 211 Economic Impact Payment Helpline (1-844-322-3639) can answer specific questions about the stimulus, including eligibility and completing the IRS Non-filer form. It operates 24/7 with live people available 10 am – 6 pm ET M-F through October 15.
Second, you can direct people to Code for America’s Get Your Refund Service, a free, mobile-friendly platform that uses Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program volunteers to help people get their stimulus check and file a tax return if needed.
Depending on what local resources for help are available, your citizens may also need to know who is eligible for stimulus checks. Some eligible people haven’t gotten their stimulus checks yet because they don’t think they qualify. Share basic eligibility criteria so people know whether to seek assistance. Let residents know that U.S. citizens, permanent residents, green card holders, and certain immigrants who have lived and worked in the U.S. for an extended period of time can get stimulus payments even if they don’t have income. While there are other qualifications, highlighting these can reassure many people that the stimulus is for them.
For more information, visit this article at the National League of Cities’ ‘Cities Speak’ site.