Tax season is a tedious time for many Americans hoping for a refund. While many Social Security recipients know that disability payments do not count as earned income, that may not disqualify you from filing for the Earned Income Tax Credit. According to Accounting Today, as many as 1.5 million people with disabilities miss out on the EITC because they don’t file taxes.
The EITC is a benefit for workers with moderate to low income levels. On average, EITC filers earned more than $2,500 in 2015. Many people are concerned that a refund will affect eligibility for Social Security benefits, but the tax credit is not counted as income when determining eligibility.
Do I qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit?
To be eligible for EITC, you must have earned income from a job or self-employment. Workers who retired early on disability through an employer’s plan are also eligible until they reach minimum retirement age. EITC hopefuls may also claim a child with a disability or a disabled relative of any age to meet the requirement.
EITC may delay tax return
Although those who file for the EITC may receive more money in a refund, they may also be subject to delays from the Internal Revenue Service. The EITC-specific delays are part of a new anti-fraud effort by the IRS. Those who file for the EITC are not subject to investigation or audits, but the campaign by the IRS can ensure that the EITC and Social Security benefits are given to those who need it the most.
Are there other methods to increasing benefits?
A tax return may not be the only way Social Security disability beneficiaries can increase benefit payments. Just as it is reflected in your income, situations change from year to year. If your disability has affected your ability to work, you may be eligible for more money from Social Security.
Often, people miss out on benefits simply because they are unaware of changes in the law. An attorney can take your case to court and act as a liaison between you and the government during an appeal. Even if you have been denied a claim in the past, a Social Security disability lawyer can examine the credibility of your case and work on your behalf.
Just like a tax refund gives workers their money back annually; you too contributed to Social Security funds with your tax dollars. Now it’s time to see if you can get it back.