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How the CARES Act Affects Those Living With Disabilities

Jun 29, 2020

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 29, 2020 – Given the profound impact of the novel coronavirus and the attendant closures of schools and businesses, the federal government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. Economic Security Act (CARES) Act. Chief among the provisions of the CARES Act is the one-time payment of a stimulus check to qualifying individuals. Many who live with a disability and qualify for public assistance will receive a stimulus check. However, some have raised concerns about how the stimulus check will affect those with disabilities. 

Regardless of employment status, anyone is eligible for a stimulus check, provided they are not over the income limit. Most individuals will get $1,200 ($2,400 per couple) and will receive an additional $500 per child. Only those who make more than $75,000, or $150,000 per couple, will receive smaller stimulus checks. The amount of the check phases out entirely for those making $99,000 per year, or $198,000 for couples. Of course, these income limits will not stop many individuals with disabilities from qualifying. 

Initially, one of the major concerns surrounding the CARES Act stimulus checks was that receipt of the check might put someone who is on public assistance over the asset limit. Government programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medicaid require enrollees have less than $2,000 in assets. 

Importantly, the stimulus check is being characterized as a rebate, which means it will not be counted against the asset limits faced by people with disabilities if spent within 12 months of receipt. However, because the United States Treasury is relying on bank information contained in recent tax returns to send out the payments, those receiving SSDI may have to file a tax return to collect their stimulus check. For some who do not file a tax return, the Treasury will glean the necessary information from the SSA-1099 form; however, many SSDI recipients do not receive these forms, requiring they file a “simple” tax return. The burden that this requirement imposes on those with disabilities has been brought to lawmakers’ attention, and the Treasury may reconsider its current approach. However, for now, some SSDI recipients must file a tax return to obtain their stimulus check. The checks will be either direct deposited or mailed as a paper check, depending on how recipients currently receive their benefits. 

Aside from the one-time stimulus check, the CARES Act provides other significant benefits for those living with a disability, including:

* A weekly increase of $600 for unemployed workers with and without disabilities. Those who are gig workers or own their own business qualify for these payments. 
* $30 billion in grants to facilitate special education programs.
* $955 million for the Aging and Disability Services Program, directed towards supporting nutrition programs provided to people with disabilities and older Americans with food deliveries as well as direct support for family caregivers

For those individuals with a disability and who are on government assistance, there may be additional questions about the CARES Act, the stimulus checks, and how government benefits fit into the mix. Attorney David W. Magann encourages individuals with questions to reach out to a dedicated Florida social security attorney who has experience handling the various legal issues facing those living with disabilities. 

Attorney David Magann is a Florida disability attorney with extensive experience handling the legal issues that many individuals with disabilities face. Attorney Magann is a compassionate advocate who unceasingly pursues the interests of his clients and provides effective advice and counsel on a variety of legal issues, including social security disability, estate planning, veterans’ law and personal injury law. Attorney Magann has offices conveniently located in Brandon and Tampa. 

David W. Magann, P.A.
Main Office:
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175

Tampa Office:
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618

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