If you are homeless or know someone who is homeless you might have a lot of questions about stimulus checks, officially known as Economic Impact Payments (EIP). For example, are homeless individuals even eligible to receive them? (The answer is yes). To make navigating all of it a little bit easier, we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions on EIP and homelessness.
The Homeless Trust has also partnered with local agencies and providers to assist those in shelter and on the streets, who may be unsure of how to access their EIP.
1. Do homeless people qualify for Economic Impact Payments?
Yes. People who don't normally file a tax return and don't receive federal benefits may qualify for these stimulus payments. This includes those experiencing homelessness and others.
2. How does someone get their EIP if they are in shelter?
If you're eligible and didn't get a first or second Economic Impact Payment (that is, an EIP1 or EIP2) or got less than the full amounts, you may be eligible for the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. You'll need to file a 2020 tax return. See the special section on IRS.gov: Claiming the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit if you aren't required to file a tax return. Providers have been working with clients since last year to ensure those who qualify for Economic Impact Payments are able to receive them.
3. Do you need to have a bank account?
No. People may get either a paper check or an EIP Card. Paper checkswill arrive by mail in a white envelope from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. For those taxpayers who received their tax refund by mail, this paper check will look similar, but will be labeled as an "Economic Impact Payment" in the memo field. The EIP Card will also come in a white envelope prominently displaying the seal of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
5. Do homeless individuals have to pay to file a simplified tax return?
No. Individuals can go online to get free tax prep help. The Homeless Trust is planning a Continuum of Care (CoC)-wide training to help homeless individuals file simplified tax returns.
6. What is the deadline?
There is no deadline for EIP. The tax deadline (May 17) is for taxpayers who owe taxes; it’s the deadline to pay.
7. Does anyone else have a right to your Economic Impact Payments? Can a shelter withhold payment from homeless individuals?
No. No one has a right to withhold an Economic Impact Payment from you.
More information is available in Fact Sheet 2021-05, Updated details about the third round of Economic Impact Payments.