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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
October 08, 2008

Heather Howard
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner
609-984-7160


 
Senior Citizens and People with Disabilities have one week left to apply for federal Economic Stimulus funds


 

Oct 15 deadline looms for 120,000 New Jerseyans who haven't claimed
their $300 to $600 checks

TRENTON -- With one week before the filing deadline for the federal economic stimulus

check, more than 100,000 New Jerseyans, mostly seniors, have yet to apply, leaving
millions of dollars in federal funds unclaimed.

 

As a result, state officials and their county partners are redoubling their efforts to get

the word out to elderly and disabled citizens.

The deadline for filing is October 15, 2008.

“The national economic recession is causing financial hardships for many of our citizens,” said Governor Jon S. Corzine. “Now more than ever, it is imperative for our residents, especially our senior citizens and people with disabilities, to be aware of the Federal economic stimulus payments available to eligible households. I strongly encourage those who have not yet applied, to file for the checks which can help to ease some of the burden.”

The Department of the Public Advocate (DPA), the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) have redoubled their efforts to inform and assist eligible seniors who have not yet applied.

With nearly 120,000 seniors and disabled people in New Jersey (as of September 12, 2008) who still have not filed to claim their $300-$600 stimulus check, Public Advocate Ronald K. Chen and DHSS Commissioner Heather Howard and DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez are urging the general public to spread the word.

People who do not normally meet eligibility to file a federal tax return, but have earned at least $3000 in income can claim the funds.

“Sixty percent of those that have not claimed their stimulus check in this state are people age 65 and older. Many are on a fixed income, and if they don’t file, it will be a sorely missed opportunity to get the money they deserve,” Chen said.

 "Most taxpayers received -- and spent -- their economic stimulus package checks this summer.  But a lot of seniors on low, fixed incomes don't have to file tax returns and therefore didn't get their checks yet," agreed Howard.  "Our message to them today is clear:  In these tough economic times, don't walk away from $300 or $600 that is rightfully yours.  Find, fill out and mail a 1040A tax form to the IRS before the October 15 application deadline."

People who are on fixed incomes such as Social Security Retirement, Social Security Disability, or Veteran Affairs benefits, as well as taxpayers who do not normally make enough to file a 2007 tax return can apply for the rebate under the federal Economic Stimulus Program. If an individual receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in addition to Social Security Disability (SSD), then he or she may also be eligible. However, those who receive only SSI do not qualify.

New Jersey’s 21 county Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) have been aggressively publicizing this opportunity by contacting and distributing outreach materials to local media, senior centers, clubs and organizations including churches and veteran groups, as well as individual residences.

A number of county area offices on aging coordinated home visits to seniors who are homebound and needed additional assistance in filing. Materials were distributed to home delivered meal clients to emphasize the importance of filing for the stimulus payment.

Several offices have also worked with their county library system to designate local libraries as a resource to pick up the 1040A form.

In Ocean County, where there is a large senior population, their AAA has held a number of outreach events including two “Economic Stimulus Days” at the Ocean County Mall. In Somerset County, their AAA makes sure that they ask all callers if they have filed and then assist them if they have not already taken action.

The Department of Human Services has emailed information about the economic stimulus issue to thousands of stakeholders including advocates, families, and provider groups and has distributed posters to DHS offices statewide, County Welfare Offices and legislative offices.

'Our department has aggressively shared this important information with our families, advocates and stakeholders,' said Velez. “Nearly 20,000 individuals and organizations have been advised and we hope that the compounding effect will successfully alert those who are eligible.'

In light of reports that some tax preparers are charging in excess of $100 to prepare the tax form and that some nursing facilities were improperly taking the funds to cover unpaid expenses, DPA launched a campaign to educate nursing homes and long term care facilities about how to assist residents in claiming the funds.

In addition to reaching out to the facilities directly, a letter offering guidance on how to assist elderly and people with disabilities with tax preparation from the state’s Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly was sent to 1,253 nursing and long-term care facilities, assisted living and residential health care facilities in the state.

Another purpose for the outreach was to clarify some assumptions on how the funds might affect eligibility for Medicaid assistance, which covers the cost of nursing facility level care for thousands of News Jerseyans.

“There is no reason for these funds to in any way affect one's eligibility for Medicaid,” Chen said. “The residents, with the assistance of facility social workers or staff as appropriate, simply need to make sure that the funds are spent within 60 days of receipt of the check.”

Any suspected tax preparation scams or abusive practices involving the economic stimulus payments within long-term care institutions should be reported to the Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly- mandated by law to investigate all allegations of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of people age 60 and older. To file a complaint, please call their 24-hour toll free hotline at 1-877-582-6995 or email PublicAdvocate@advocate.state.nj.us.

County           Remaining to File (IRS data 9/12/08)

Essex             13,451
Bergen           11,336
Monmouth        9,047
Middlesex         8,703
Ocean             8,693
Hudson            8,242
Union              7,483
Camden           7,388
Mercer            7,341
Passaic           7,216
Burlington        5,318
Morris             4,980
Atlantic           4,367
Gloucester       3,109
Somerset         3,002
Cumberland      2,565
Cape May        2,051
Hunterdon       1,758
Sussex           1,724
Warren           1,362
Salem             1,049
TOTAL         120,185

QUICK LINKS

 

·    Guidance for nursing facilities from Public Advocate

http://www.state.nj.us/publicadvocate/seniors/elder/stimuluslettertofacilities.pdf

 

·    Form 1040A can be found here

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040a.pdf

 

·    Directions on how to complete the 1040A form

http://www.irs.gov/pub/newsroom/1040a.pdf

 

·    Where to file/ send completed 1040A form

If the individual is New Jersey resident, send the completed 1040A form to:

 

Department of the Treasury

Internal Revenue Service

Kansas City, MO 64999-0015

 

Please visit http://www.irs.gov/file/article/0,,id=100838,00.html for more information.


WHERE TO GO FOR ASSISTANCE

 

Tax forms are available at the following IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers. For more information, please visit http://www.irs.gov/localcontacts/article/0,,id=98315,00.html.

 

City

Street Address

Days/Hours of Service

Telephone *

Cherry Hill

57 Haddonfield Rd.
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

 

 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Services Provided

(856) 321-1328

Edison

100 Dey Place
Edison, NJ 08817

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Services Provided


 

(732) 572-9752

Fairfield

165 Passaic Ave.
Fairfield, NJ 07004

 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Services Provided

 

(973) 808-0821

Freehold

4 Paragon Way
Freehold, NJ 07728

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Services Provided

 

(732) 660-0063

Jersey City

30 Montgomery St.
Jersey City, NJ 07302


 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Services Provided

(201) 332-9110

Mays Landing

5218 Atlantic Ave.
Mays Landing, NJ 08330


 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Services Provided

(609) 625-0678

Mountainside

200 Sheffield St.
Mountainside, NJ 07092


 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Services Provided

(908) 301-2112

Newark

20 Washington Place
Newark, NJ 07102


 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Services Provided

(973) 645-6690

Paramus

1 Kalisa Way
Paramus, NJ 07652

 

 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Services Provided

(201) 634-7052

Parsippany

1719-C Rte. 10
Parsippany, NJ 07054


 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Services Provided

(973) 808-0821

Paterson

200 Federal Plaza
Paterson, NJ 07505


 

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Services Provided

(973) 357-4114

Trenton

44 S. Clinton Ave.
Trenton, NJ 08609

Monday-Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Services Provided

(609) 989-0533

 
 
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P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
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