Important Updates and Reminders from the LRRC - 6/16/2021
- Families who were receiving SNAP benefits in October 2020 will receive an additional $122.76 per child under the age of 6 for each month they were eligible for benefits from October 2020 through June 2021. Households enrolled in SNAP for the entire time period will receive, in total, nearly $1,000 in extra food assistance per child under the age of 6. The funds will automatically be added to a family’s card for each month they were eligible, even if you are no longer receiving benefits. If you have received SNAP benefits since October 2020 and no longer have your card, contact 732-942-3933 to request a replacement card.
- SNAP continues to give the maximum benefit amount plus 15% for eligible households. If you find it difficult to pay for food, contact the LRRC for assistance screening for SNAP and WIC eligibility.
- The IRS recently announced changes to the Dependent Care Credit, a non-refundable tax credit for expenses paid towards eligible childcare and senior care expenses while caretakers are at work or school. You can read more here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/child-and-dependent-care-tax-credit-faqs. Speak to your accountant for additional information and tax planning.
- Important changes to the Child Tax Credit will help many families get advance credit payments, starting this summer. The IRS will pay half the total credit amount in advance, with monthly payments beginning on July 15. You will claim the other half when you file your 2021 income tax return. The IRS will use the information you already provided to determine whether you qualify and automatically enroll you for advance payments if you do. You do not need to take any additional action to get advance payments. If you aren’t required to file a tax return and haven’t given the IRS your information, you will need to provide some basic data to receive this advance payment. Click here to use the non-filer sign-up tool: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/child-tax-credit-non-filer-sign-up-tool. You can also use this tool to register additional dependents if their SSN was issued prior to May 17, 2021 (children born in 2021 cannot be registered at this time). Another portal will be available shortly where taxpayers can opt out of advance payments if they so choose. Speak to your accountant for additional information and tax planning.
- If you were eligible for stimulus payments but did not receive them, speak with an accountant about claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 taxes. Talk to an accountant about filing a federal tax return to claim the stimulus payment even if you are not required to file a tax return.
Unemployment Insurance Reminders
- If you work in a school setting, you are not eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits during summer break if you have a reasonable assurance you will have a job during the next school year. Reasonable assurance is a written, verbal, or implied employment agreement. Exceptions may be made for those with another job and those who worked as a W2 employee during the previous summer. If an offer of work in the next school year is based on enrollment or funding, and you have returned to work in past school years under these conditions, you may not be eligible for benefits during summer recess. A claims examiner will review the facts of your specific employment situation to determine eligibility for benefits. For more information, click here: https://www.myunemployment.nj.gov/labor/myunemployment/before/about/who/schoolemployees.shtml
- For the full LRRC COVID-19 Government Help FAQ document, visit: https://bit.ly/lrrc19ghfaq
If you are planning on going away at any point during the summer, make sure:
- To check your out-of-state health insurance benefits. You may want to purchase travelers insurance to have the option of visiting a doctor out-of-state.
- To have a neighbor or friend check your mail for notifications or recertification requests. Mail from government programs cannot be forwarded. You can sign up with USPS to receive a daily e-mail that includes a digital preview of mail scheduled to be delivered. The e-mail will show a black and white scan of the outside of the envelope (not the inside contents). Sign up here: https://informeddelivery.usps.com. All paperwork and documentation must be submitted by the deadline.
Utility Assistance Reminders
No electric, gas, or water utilities may be disconnected until the end of the year. Although you are not currently at risk for having your utilities disconnected, you will eventually need to pay the full balance on your utility bills. Therefore, the LRRC recommends that you do not ignore these bills. Utility assistance is available, and we are happy to help guide you through these programs.
- To see if you are eligible for HEAP/USF, visit: http://bit.ly/lrrcheapusf.
- For a snapshot of additional available assistance for those eligible for HEAP/USF, visit: http://bit.ly/lrrcuaheap.
- For a snapshot of assistance available for those not eligible for HEAP/USF, visit: http://bit.ly/lrrcuanoheap.