UPDATES: UNEMPLOYMENT AND STIMULUS PAYMENT

UPDATES: UNEMPLOYMENT AND STIMULUS PAYMENT

Unemployment Assistance

The Baker Administration announced this week that the online filing system for those who have been unable to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic is now open. The benefits fall under the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and is separate from the regular unemployment insurance program. 

The PUA program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits and is open to individuals who are not traditionally eligible for unemployment assistance. Those now included are individuals who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, freelancers. 

Individuals who may be eligible for benefits under this program can apply here:

https://www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-pandemic-unemployment-assistance

In addition, for those retirees who have been laid off by the same public employer (state, city, town or district) from whom they retired and are otherwise eligible for UI benefits, there is a reduction of their UI benefits. Their benefits are reduced by 50% of their pension. 

“We want to emphasize that only retirees who have been laid off by the same employer from which they retired will receive a reduction in unemployment benefits due to their pension. I mistakenly overstated this offset in last week’s message, which led to some confusion with our members,” said Mass Retirees CEO Shawn Duhamel.

Stimulus Payments For Retirees

The federal government is finishing up the second week of the stimulus check disbursement process and the online portal for those who are not required to file with the IRS or receive Social Security benefits is now open. 

As a reminder, retirees who meet the income thresholds (, income of less than $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head of household and $150,000 for married couples) are eligible for a one-time payment of $1200 per individual. If you have filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 or if you receive Social Security benefits you will receive the stimulus payment by either direct deposit, if that is on file, or by paper check to the address on file should you not have direct deposit. It’s important to note should be noted,that the stimulus checks are being disbursed over time so if you haven’t received one as of today it does not mean you are not eligible. 

Are you considered a “non-filer”, meaning you are not required to file federal taxes and don’t receive Social Security? You can input your information for direct deposit through the online portal set up by the IRS. The link is below:

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here

While we can assist with general questions regarding the stimulus process, we are unable to assist with the technical aspects of both the disbursement and the online portal. You can reach out to your local member of Congress should you require additional assistance.

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