The Coalition for the Homeless is alarmed to report that we’ve seen individuals and organizations saying they’ll give loans or charge fees to people who allegedly “have to file a tax return to get their COVID payment from the federal government.”
No one needs to pay a fee or take out a loan to get their COVID payment from the federal government.
Here are the facts:
- Anyone who filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return or who gets SSI/SSDI will automatically get a check.
- If you have changed addresses since your last tax return, you can file a simple form to make sure your check is mailed to the right place. Here is the official form to update your address.
- If you DID NOT FILE a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and/or have zero income, you can still get a check—but you must file a form with the IRS first. Click on this link for the official IRS form: https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/#/fd/EconomicImpactPayment
Although people with zero income do not need to file a tax return, there is FREE help to file, if they wish. The Louisville Asset Building Coalition VITA Free Tax Preparation Service is now taking virtual appointments to file tax returns for the purpose of updating direct deposit information. You can make an appointment on their website, www.labcservices.org , select “Economic Impact Payment Return,” and you will only need to upload a copy of their identification documents.
If you or someone you know NEEDS A BANK ACCOUNT, there are some options available even though bank operations have shifted during the pandemic. Wesbanco will open accounts via drive-through (https://www.wesbanco.com/). Stockyards Bank still has open lobbies at some branches (214 S. Fifth Street; 27th and Broadway in the Kroger; 1040 East Main Street—their main office), but note that Stockyards requires an unexpired ID and documentation of a physical address. At Fifth Third Bank, you can get an in-person meeting with a banker if you schedule it online on their website here. Most banks also allow people to open accounts online. In order to do this, however, you would need a photo ID and a way to scan and upload it. If your ID is expired, L&N FCU and PNC will accept recently expired ID’s and alternate forms of ID. If you do not have an ID, it’s recommended to call a bank and see what alternative forms of ID they accept.
Click on this link to be directed to Bank on Louisville’s Covid 19 page, with a helpful list of how local banks are trying to help their customers. Click on this link to get more information from Bank on Louisville regarding opening a bank account.
Please be sure to share this information with anyone who is concerned about getting their check from the federal government, and if you work with people experiencing homelessness, please share this information with your clients.
For more information about the COVID-19 outbreak and Louisville’s response to homelessness, go to louhomeless.org/coronavirus.