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Hello my name im Amy Spivey, im a visiting assistant professor and director of the low-income tax payer clinic at UC Hastings. This video is brought to you by the California Lawyers Association, a nonprofit organizations of lawyers throughtout California. This video is geared towards individuals who are interested in learning whether they may eligible for COVID-19 related benefits under the CARES act and whether those benefits may be taxable or might impact other public benefits. Please know that this video is intended to provide general information and does not constitute legal advice. The information in this video is presented based on the rules in place as of April 13th 2020. On March 27th 2020 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security act also called the CARES act was enacted. This provides two main benefits for individuals. One is the Economic Impact Payment which we'll call the Recovery Rebate and the other is Expanded Unemployment Insurance Benefits and this includes an increase in unemployment compensation and pandemic unemployment assistance for people who might not be eligible for unemployment. Well start with the Recovery Rebate, Who is Eligible? Eligible individuals must have a work-eligible social Secuirty number, if you're married filing jointly you both must have a social security number, you cannot be claimed as a dependent on another persons tax return, and you must have adjusted gross incomes below these levels. So its $99,00 if you're single or filing, separately, $136,500 for head of household, and $198,000 if you're married filing jointly. This the max adjusted gross income you can have to receive any benefit. We'll talk about it soon though it doesn't mean you're gonna receive the full benefit, you'll still receive some of the benefit. Non-eligible individuals are non-resident aliens and ITIN holders. How much will you receive in the recovery rebate? Single and married filing separately filers will receive $1, 200 dollars if their AGI (adjusted gross income) is up to $75,000. If your AGI is between $75,000 and $99,000 you will receive a reduced amount of the recovery rebate and if your AGI is above $99,000 you won't receive any of the rebate. For head of household filers, you will receive $1,200 dollars as well for an AGI up to $112,500 and married filing joint filers will receive $2,400 dollars if their AGI is up to $150,000. You'll also receive an additional $500 dollars for each eligible dependent you claim. Dependents must be under the age of 17 and have a social security number. If you claim an elderly parent as a dependent they would not qualify for the additional $500, it is only for qualifying children under the age of 17 and have a social security number. So which tax year applies? If you've already filed your 2019 tax return then they will use your 2019 tax return, if you haven't filed that yet but you have filed your 2018 return, the IRS will use your 2018 return to determine your eligibility. If you haven't filed either 2018 or 2019 then you can file one of these returns to receive the rebate by December 31st 2020 and you can use the IRS website, their pre-filing program or you can also go to There are a few vita sites that are running virtual programs so you can call around and see if someone can help you there. But what if you're not required to file? Many who are not required to file tax returns still will receive the rebate but you might have to take some additional action. Social Secuirty and Railroad Retirement recipients who receive a form SSA-1099 or a form RRB-1099 do not need to take additional action to receive their recovery rebate unless you also have qualifying children or qualifying dependents. This also includes SSDI, the Social Security Disability recipients. Other individuals might be eligible but they do need to take additional action at this time are SSI recipients, veterans or individuals who have low or no-income and are not typically required to file a tax return. For example, if you are a W-2 wage earner and you receive $9,000 dollars a year, you are not typically required to file because your income is below the filing threshold. What action do you need to take? If you are part of the class of taxpayers who don't typically file a return and don't receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement or you do and would like to claim a dependent, you can the IRS tool on the website listed here. This is a portal through their free-file program where you will enter your information, bank account information, your dependent status, and a lot of other information about your filing status as well. It is not a full tax return, it is just to give them enough information to calculate and determine how much of the Recovery Rebate you will receive. If you did file your tax return, but did not include direct deposit information, the IRS is currently developing a tool to use to provide banking information. You might want to check their website this week for updates, they anticipate that this tool will be out this week. Are these rebates taxable and how will they impact your public benefits? The good news is the Recovery Rebate is not taxable income for federal or California state taxes. This payment is treated like a tax credit and the Recovery Rebate will also not impact your eligibility for income-related government benefits such as Medi-Cal SSI, SSDI, CalWORKS, CalFresh, and Section 8. If you're unsure if this will impact your income-related government benefits, you can check their website. Each of these agencies has a COVID-19 specific section and webpage that you can double check to make sure. The other category of benefits available under the CARES act is Expanded Unemployment. The first is the increase in Unemployment Compensation, this is an additional $600 dollars per week above what you are already getting at the state level. Any individual who is eligible for at least one dollar of regular Unemployment Insurance benefits is eligible for this. The other category is the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program which is $600 dollars per week also. This is for individuals who are not typically eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits, such as business owners, self-employed individuals, independent contractors. If you've already used up all of your available Unemployment Insurance benefits you may be eligible for this Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. The other rules are you must be unable to work due to COVID-19. This includes reasons such as your business is closed due to shelter in place or because you're taking care of a sick family member or roommate. Theres a lot of various issues, you can look on the EDD website for specifics. You must also be unable to telework with pay and not eligible to receive paid sick leave or state disability. So how will you receive these benefits? For the increase in unemployment compensation, if you are eligible for or are already receiving the California state UI benefits, you do not need to take any additional action to receive the $600 dollar per week benefit. You're automatically going to receive these when you apply through the website. That's the Employment Development department, the California agency that issues the unemployment compensation. For the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, EDD has not yet finalized the tool to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance so you want to check on their website for updates. Hopefully this will be forthcoming soon. What about the Taxability and Impact on Public Benefits? These benefits, neither the Unemployment benefits, regular or increased or the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance are taxable. They are both taxable and for California taxes, neither of them are taxable so you will have to pay taxes on your federal tax return but not on your state tax return For the impact on Public Benefits, neither of these programs will impact Medi-Cal, the enhanced unemployment benefits, the additional unemployment benefits or the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. They will not impact Medi-Cal, however, they might impact other Public Benefits such as SSI, SSDI, CalWorks, CalFresh or Section 8. All of these are Income-related Public Benefits so if you receive more income than you did when you originally signed up for these programs, you might receive a reduced benefit from these agencies or you might be ineligible So you definitely want to double check with each of these agencies to make sure that receiving the additional Unemployment benefits are not going to impact your eligibility for these programs. Here are a couple of resources, keep checking because they are sending out new guidance everyday, you can also check the Employment Development Department, the EDD website. Again, if you do receive any of those Public Benefits you'll want to check each of these individual websites to see how the Unemployment assistance might affect you. Please remember that this information presented is not legal advice and is based on the rules in effect as of April 13th 2020. Thank you for watching this video and doing your part to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 12 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 1
Posted by: tyanadiaz on Apr 17, 2020

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