Retirees can qualify for federal stimulus

OPERS offers tips to make sure you receive your rebate payment

By Matt Overturf, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

April 1, 2020 – The U.S. Congress recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), a stimulus package in response to the ongoing public health crisis. We want to bring your attention to a provision in the bill that directly benefits OPERS retirees.

OPERS, in concert with our partners in Washington, strongly advocated to ensure that retirees who receive a pension based on earnings from non-Social Security-covered employment are eligible for and can easily access this rebate.

Under the act, individual OPERS retirees may qualify for a federal rebate of up to $1,200.

The federal government released additional guidelines for the stimulus:

  • For Social Security recipients: You will automatically receive the rebate; that includes anyone affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision.
  • For non-Social Security recipients: The IRS will look at your 2018 return if you haven’t filed a 2019 return (which now is due July 15).
  • For non-Social Security recipients without either a 2018 or 2019 tax return: You’ll have to file a new, abbreviated tax form to be released by the IRS. The new form has not yet been released, but any new releases on this topic will be available at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

If you usually do not file a tax return and choose to file now, OPERS provides a Benefit Recipient Tax Guide where you can find information on filing your taxes as an OPERS retiree. Your 1099R is available in your online account. If you need additional assistance, please consult a tax preparer.

According to the federal government, those who have direct deposit information on file with the IRS could receive their rebate in little as three weeks. In addition, the IRS is working on its web-based system for those who don’t have direct deposit information on file with the IRS. This system will allow information to be uploaded, and the rebate will be received more quickly than waiting to receive a paper check in the mail

It is important to be aware of potential scams during this time. For more information, check out this recent OPERS blog.

For more information on the CARES Act, read a summary of the provisions.

As we continue to navigate these uncertain times, you can find the latest information from OPERS on our website.

 

 

Matt Overturf

Matt Overturf is the External Relations Officer for OPERS. As a former legislative staffer, he is involved in our communication and advocacy efforts with the Ohio General Assembly, stakeholders and OPERS membership.

Matt Overturf

External Relations Officer

  • My question isn’t about the stimulus check for us relating to Via Benefits. Can you tell us if we send in reimbursement requests if these are being processed during the shutdown of businesses?
    Thank you, Sharon McClain

    • Sharon,

      Yes, Via Benefits is still processing claims for reimbursement. There has not been any impact to processing at this time.

      Julie, OPERS

    • Please send a message to benefitquestions@opers.org if you have locked yourself out of your account or are having trouble registering or accessing your account. Be aware that this is not a secure email address, so don’t send personal or benefit rated information.

      Julie, OPERS

    • Lorena,

      OPERS offers members, who terminate public employment, an opportunity to receive a refund of the contributions they made while they were members. According to Ohio law, two months must pass from the date of termination from public employment before the refund will be issued.

      The CARES Act options are not available for those in the OPERS plans.

      Julie, OPERS

    • Janet,

      The federal government released the following guidelines for the stimulus:

      For Social Security recipients: You will automatically receive the rebate; that includes anyone affected by the Windfall Elimination Provision. For non-Social Security recipients: The IRS will look at your 2018 return if you haven’t filed a 2019 return (which now is due July 15).

      For non-Social Security recipients without either a 2018 or 2019 tax return: You’ll have to file a new, abbreviated tax form to be released by the IRS. The new form has not yet been released, but any new releases on this topic will be available at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus.

      If you usually do not file a tax return and choose to file now, OPERS provides a Benefit Recipient Tax Guide where you can find information on filing your taxes as an OPERS retiree, https://www.opers.org/retirees/tax-guide/index.shtml. Your 1099R is available in your online account. If you need additional assistance, please consult a tax preparer.

      Julie, OPERS

  • My husband and I filed our 2019 taxes jointly. He received a stimulus check. I have not. We both worked under OPERS. He is still working. I am retired! Is there a reason I have not received a stimulus check?

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