What seniors qualify for the $300?
Learn what seniors qualify for the $300 check, what requirements seniors must meet, and how to get this one-time payment.
Stimulus checks from the federal government were paid out during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but most of these distributions have ended. However, due to the high inflation and turbulent economy, some states are still offering stimulus checks to qualifying residents.
Seniors who receive Social Security, railroad retirement benefits, or veteran benefits should have received the $300 stimulus check already. Payments were not based on tax filing status, unlike many other programs, and were distributed the same way as your normal benefits, either by direct deposit or as a paper check.
What is the $300 stimulus?
The current round of payouts is still linked to the ‘American Rescue Plan’ initiated to help offset the severe impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on Americans. At the time, seniors receiving their Social Security, and even those enrolled in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, were not eligible for any payout. It was initially aimed at working adults who had lost their employment or who were furloughed.
However, the Biden administration recently announced that another stimulus payment, this time aimed at senior citizens receiving Social Security, SSI, Railroad Retirement, or veteran’s benefits, would be released this year. The intent is to offset some of the impact of soaring healthcare costs, housing, and other expenses.
Are stimulus payments ongoing?
The original $300 stimulus payment was a once-off, distributed across the nation. For most seniors, if you’ve already received the payout, you won’t receive an additional distribution. However, in addition to this nationwide once-off payment, some states have offered second or extended payments, some of which are still ongoing.
What do I need to do to get my $300 stimulus?
Seniors who are receiving benefits from Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Veteran’s Benefits are eligible for the stimulus. This means the payments are automatically processed and do not need a tax return to be filed or other action.
Eligible seniors should have already received the check by now, as most of the rollout was in the first quarter of 2023. Payments were processed the same way you receive your benefits from the eligible program, either by paper check or direct deposit. The amount was not linked to your current benefits, so everyone will have received the full $300.
What states offer stimulus checks?
For the extended state-based stimulus checks, eligibility and frequency vary depending on the state itself. Here are some of the states that have a running stimulus program:
Alabama will be sending out one-time tax rebate checks in November 2023. These hinge on the state filing status you had in the 2021 tax year. Joint filers will receive $300, while single and head-of-family filers will receive a $150 rebate. If you didn’t file a tax return, you are not eligible to receive this payout, nor will you receive it if you were a dependent in that year.
The Arizona Families Tax Rebate targets year-round Arizona residents who claimed the state's tax credit for dependents on their 2021 tax returns. To be eligible for this tax rebate, you must have filed a minimum of $1 in taxes during 2019, 2020, or 2021. The Arizona Department of Revenue will automatically distribute rebates, potentially reaching up to $750 for families with three dependents. While not senior-focused, some seniors with dependent families will still qualify.
Colorado's TABOR refunds, also known as "Cash Back" payments, were disbursed to residents aged 18 or older who filed a 2021 Colorado income tax return. Single filers generally received $750, while joint filers received $1,500. Most payments were issued by January 31, 2023, with the possibility of additional refunds in 2024 based on surplus revenue thresholds.
Maine's Winter Energy Relief Payment, a $450 stimulus, targeted residents who filed a 2021 state tax return by October 31, 2022. Income limits are applied, varying by filing status. Maine relief payments began in mid-January, with a deadline for eligible residents to contact the State Tax Assessor by June 30, 2023, if they hadn't received the relief. Payments could continue until November 30, 2023.
Minnesota's one-time rebate checks of up to $1,300, commonly known as ‘Walz checks,’ targeted 2.5 million households. Eligibility depended on adjusted gross income, with married couples and single filers qualifying for varying amounts. Minnesota’s state's Department of Revenue automatically sent rebate money via direct deposit or mail based on information from 2021 tax returns.
Montana issued one-time income tax rebate checks of up to $2,500 in July 2023, based on details from 2021 tax returns. Additionally, eligible residents received a property tax rebate of up to $675 for 2022 and 2023, contingent on property ownership and tax payments.
New Mexico distributed rebate checks of up to $1,000 to residents based on their filing status for the 2021 tax year. Payments reflected the state's fiscal surplus, with different amounts for single filers, married couples, and head of household filers.
Pennsylvania's "Property Tax/Rent Rebate" program delivered checks, potentially up to $650, to eligible residents aged 65 or older, widows(er) at least 50, or persons with disabilities. Rebates were determined by income and homeownership status, with payments beginning in August 2022 and extending into 2023.
South Carolina Tax Rebate
South Carolina's tax rebate, up to $800, required filing a 2021 state income tax return by Feb. 15, 2023, and having a state tax liability. Phased issuance considered the filing date, with an online tool available for checking rebate status.
Virginia Tax Rebate
Virginia's 2023 tax rebates, up to $400 for joint filers and $200 for single filers resulted from a state surplus. Payments for 2022 were contingent on filing a 2021 Virginia income tax return by November 1, 2022, with variations based on filing dates. These disbursements should now be finalized, so check up if you haven’t received yours.
If you’re a senior receiving benefits from any of the three key programs, you should have received your $300 by now. Hopefully, it helped offset some of this year’s exponential rise in the cost of living. While it isn’t yet certain if we will see the $300 federal disbursement happen again in 2024, it is worth keeping on your radar.