Belleville, Illinois — March 30, 2020 —Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries will be among Americans receiving vital support from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of disability representation and return to work services. Signed into law March 28, 2020, the legislation also set aside more than $300 million to support the efforts of the Social Security Administration (SSA), which has shuttered its field and hearing offices around the country during the global health crisis.
The amount of the CARES rebate varies by family size and income recorded in recent tax years. Each individual adult taxpayer can receive up to $1,200 ($2,400 for joint filers) and $500 for each child under age 17. The payment is reduced by $5 for every $100 of income over $75,000 (individual), $112,500 (head of household filer), or $150,000 for those filing jointly. Individuals with a yearly income above $99,000 (or couples with more than $198,000 in annual income) will not be eligible.
If individuals experience an income loss in 2020, or increase the size of their family, they may be able to claim additional credit on their 2020 tax year return.
Access to Federal Rebates
Most American taxpayers with Social Security numbers will receive checks directly from the U.S. Treasury, through direct deposit or check, if they filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return.
“However, not everyone files a tax return each year,” said Mary Dale Walters, Senior Vice President, Strategic Communications for Allsup, “and this may be the case for many SSDI beneficiaries whose monthly benefit averages $1,258 and have no earned income.”
To help ensure SSDI beneficiaries receive their rebate, the SSA plans to share information about current recipients with the Internal Revenue Service, and $38 million has been provided to the SSA to assist in these efforts. Beneficiaries should monitor information as it becomes available about rebates at www.irs.gov or www.ssa.gov.
The cash rebates are non-taxable and do not need to be repaid. In addition, these cash payments are not counted as income or resources for determining eligibility for means-tested SSA programs such as Supplemental Security Income or for Substantial Gainful Activity limits.
The CARES Act also greatly expands unemployment insurance for millions of Americans who cannot work due to the coronavirus crisis. Both full- and part-time workers will be eligible for benefits, but the amount and duration could vary by state. An additional four-month extension of unemployment benefits for some will count as income when determining eligibility for means-tested programs, except for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Allsup notes that many workers with disabilities already struggle to find and keep jobs, even in a robust economy.
“When unemployment rates were low in recent years, the jobless rate among those with disabilities remained more than double the national average,” Walters said. “Unfortunately, those who legitimately can’t work due to a physical or mental disability and need to access their SSDI benefits, will find the coronavirus has affected the SSA’s ability to deliver services.”
Former workers with a disability who can no longer work should know before they apply for disability benefits if they meet the SSDI program’s stringent requirements and have paid enough FICA taxes to be insured, recommended Walters.
Need To Apply For Disability Benefits?
Potential applicants have a fast and easy way to determine if they are likely eligible for SSDI benefits, and can quickly begin the application process online with empower by Allsup®. A nationwide representation organization, Allsup has helped more than 325,000 people obtain SSDI benefits over more than 35 years. With expert representation from Allsup, 97% of those who complete the process with the organization typically receive their benefits.
Allsup also can assist those filing appeals for denied SSDI benefits.
The CARES legislation also provides the SSA with $300 million to pay the salaries and benefits of employees affected as a result of office closures, telework, and phone and communication services for employees, overtime pay and for processing disability and retirement workloads and backlogs. The agency moved its more than 60,000-person workforce to telework, and in recent years, has been working to clear a large backlog of disability hearings that had SSDI claimants waiting more than 600 days, on average, just three years ago.
Allsup and its subsidiaries provide nationwide Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, return to work, and healthcare benefits services for individuals, their employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Illinois, near St. Louis. Learn more at TrueHelp.com and @Allsup.