Ask the taxgirl: Disabled benefits in 2009

Taxpayer asks:

I heard that I can get more money back from my taxes this year because I am disabled. Is this true? I am on fixed income and it would help me.

Taxgirl says:

I think what you’re referring to is the one time payment for retirees and disabled persons as part of Obama’s stimulus package for 2009, called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It’s also referred to as the Economic Recovery Payment (ERP).

If you were eligible, you should have received a check for $250 sometime in 2009 directly from the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration or the Railroad Retirement Board. Payments would have been made to:

  • Retirees, disabled individuals and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration;
  • Disabled veterans receiving benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; or
  • Railroad Retirement beneficiaries.

The check would not have been issued by the IRS.

If you can’t remember whether you received a check, you’ll need to contact the respective agency:

Social Security Administration: Toll free number is 800-722-1213.
Veterans Administration: Toll free number is 800-827-1000.
Railroad Retirement Board

This is not an IRS issue. It only affects your taxes with respect to the Making Work Pay Credit. In the event that you are also eligible for both, the Making Work Pay Credit would have to be reduced by the amount of your Economy Recovery Payment. If you report that you did not receive a check and you did, your tax return will be bounced. I’ve already heard of a few that have been returned for this mistake, so be careful.

Otherwise, there are no new credits or payments available from IRS for the disabled for 2009. I do have a post coming up about existing credits – so keep reading!

Like any good lawyer, I need to add a disclaimer: Unfortunately, it is impossible to give comprehensive tax advice over the internet, no matter how well researched or written. Before relying on any information given on this site, contact a tax professional to discuss your particular situation.

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