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Stimulus Payments and Workers’ Compensation Benefits

  • Dave Brown, Esquire
  • 04/20/2020

Are you eligible to collect a stimulus payment while receiving workers’ compensation benefits

If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, or have filed a claim for workers’ comp. benefits which has been denied and you are waiting for a decision from the judge, you should be aware of whether the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, more commonly referred to as “the Stimulus Bill,” entitles you and your family to money.

The nuts and bolts of the bill are that anybody whose adjusted gross income (workers’ comp. benefits are not included in adjusted gross income) is $75,000 or less ($150,000 or less for married couples) is entitled to a payment of $1,200 per person — or $2,400 for a couple. This is based on 2018 tax returns, or 2019 if they have been filed. (The government extended the filing deadline to July 15 due to the crisis.)

So if you earned $95,000 but your spouse did not work outside of the home and took care of your children, you and your spouse are entitled to a $2,400 payment even though your income exceeded $75,000. You and your spouse are also entitled to an additional $500 payment for each child 16 years or younger. If you filed as a single person the threshold is $99,000 — if you earned more than that, you would not be entitled to a payment.

Now let’s say that you received workers’ comp. benefits in 2018 and 2019 and did not file a tax return because you had no taxable income. Or you were injured at work in 2018 but you did not file a tax return on the basis that your income fell below a certain level ($12,200) and you have not had any income since your injury because your claim has been denied. Are you prevented from receiving a stimulus payment under these circumstances because you did not file a tax return either of these two years? Fortunately for you, the answer is no — you are not barred from receiving a payment, as long as you have a valid Social Security number and cannot be claimed as a dependent on anyone else’s tax return.

If you have not received your payment, you need to log on to the IRS’s website — — and click on the non-filer link. You will need to create an account which will include the following information:

  • Your full name, current mailing address, and email address; —Your date of birth and valid Social Security number
  • Your bank account number (if you have one), along with the type of account you have, and your bank’s routing number
  • Your Identity Protection Personal Identification Number, if you received one from the IRS
  • Your driver’s license or state-issued ID (if you have one)

For each of your children 16 and younger, you will need to provide the child’s full name and Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer ID number.

Please keep in mind that if you’re in arrears on your child support payments, then the Treasury Department is within its right to withhold some or all of your stimulus payment in order to offset your child support obligation. Individual states are required to share information with the Treasury Department regarding people who have child support arrearages.

So if you are out on workers’ comp. or have a claim pending, and you have not received your stimulus check, we urge you to follow the steps we have outlined above. If you have questions about your workers’ compensation claim and are not represented by a lawyer, please contact Pearson Koutcher Law. Workers’ comp. is all we do, and one of our expert workers’ comp. lawyers will speak with you, answer all of your questions, and if necessary file a petition on your behalf. Yes, even during the pandemic, Pearson Koutcher lawyers are working hard every day, and we look forward to helping you with your workers’ comp. claim.