Are Disabled Veterans Eligible for the Coronavirus Stimulus $1200?

Veterans Helping Veterans

   The question on the minds of Veteran's receiving Veteran's Disability Compensation is, "Do I qualify for the $1200 Coronavirus Stimulus Check?". The short answer is "Yes!".

   There are some qualifications to this, the first being, "Yes, if you will make less than $75,000 in tax year 2020 filing as single, or if married, you'll need to make less than $150,000." If you're on this site, odds are that you make far less than that. Even if you do make that much money in 2020, it is on a graduated scale, I think it's set at $5 less for every $100 over that amount, so you'll get some at least.

   There's a lot of conflicting informatin out there, but I read over a dozen articles and this is my conclusion. This is a Refundable Tax Credit, which means you don't have to have paid or owed taxes to receive it. Some are asking, "Does it need paid back? I heard it was a loan!" No, it's not a loan and does not need to be paid back UNLESS your income exceeds the limits I detailed above.

   Now, if you're only getting your Veteran's Disability Compensation, you don't have to file taxes, because VDC is non-taxable. But, I recommend you file immediately for tax year 2019, because the IRS is going to need your information. I'd make sure to put your bank routing and account on your 1040 tax form, that way you'll get it direct deposited faster if you're in need. The paper checks are estimated to take from 3 to 4 weeks longer.

UPDATE: The IRS has created a method that allows those who don't have to file taxes can get their direct deposit information to them easily, without having to file. It's run through a 3rd party Free File site, but I've used it and it's fairly straight forward. You'll need an email address, your bank account number, type and routing number, if you have on, if not they'll mail to the address provided by you when the checks are mailed. You'll also need a driver's license or state-issued ID (not sure this is mandatory) and additionally for each qualifying child, their names, SSNs and relationship to you and your spouse. When you've got the information ready then go to this page on IRS.gov Economic Impact Payments. From there you'll click the link 'button' "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here". This will take you to another page very similar looking to the one you were one, but with more information regarding the payments. After reading that through, you'll be hitting the same button in the center of the page "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here". Now it will take you to the 3rd party site for Free Filing. Follow the instructions, get the verification email and verify your address, fill out the rest of the form. After you submit it, it's basically done. But you'll receive 3 or 4 different emails with information. Just read everything carefully and make sure it's all been done properly. I won't take long if the IRS accepts your claim before you receive an email saying that.

   My OPINION is that you really should just file every year, anyway. Why? Because tax returns are used for other things, like credit. If you plan on taking advantage of the VA Home Loan program, for example, I'm sure you'll want some proof of income, and the tax return can supplement your award letter in this way. Sure, the government already knows how much we make in disability (they pay us after all), and sure it's a real pain in the ass, but I think it might be worth doing! Now, if you're only getting your Veteran's Disability Compensation, you don't have to file taxes, because VDC is non-taxable, as I said, but you can file an income tax return even if you have ZERO income. I got off my 2019 form 1040 this morning, and plan on filing for 2018 since I missed that year. When I was in school, I filed to get the American Opportunity Credit, which is like a payment/rebate for having paid money for school. So, there are a few reasons to file even if you have low or no income!

   Of course, the next question is, "How do I file when Veteran's Disability Compensation is non-taxable? There's no spot for non-taxable income!" Well, that's the tricky part, right, and I'd say there's two ways to do this. The first would be to just file with no income on the 1040. Well, that doesn't help with using your tax form for getting a house or car loan, but it's the easiest method. Since you are filing, remember to put in any extra income you might have got from side jobs and such, because the IRS loves to audit low income people, you know. Rich people, not so much. I'm not joking, look it up!

   The other method is on your 1040 to put your Veteran's Disability Compensation in 'Other Income' Line 7a. Then I put, to the left of the number "Veterans Disability Compensation" right there between the description and the number on Line 7a, to give them a head's up it's non-taxable! This worked fine with the old tax forms, but this 2019 one I filled out is different now. Even so, I believe it should work. Then add up your TAXABLE income and put that in line 11b. I foresee a problem with this for some guys who have Other Income that is taxable, you may have to use another income line for the VDC if that's the case, I wouldn't combine the totals of non-taxable and taxable income! Just make sure to write in there, whereever you put the Compensation, that it's "Veteran's Disability Compensation'! You could also use 5a Social Security line, and make sure to put 0 in 5b 'taxable amount'. There's plenty of room at the bottom of the new 1040 to just right out what it is there, referencing the line number, if push comes to shove, but make sure you note that it is 'Veteran's Disability Compensation' so they don't end up sending you a tax bill! For the rest of the form, since I paid no taxes, everything was 0 (zero)

   I put in my banking information, some people might not want to. Since I get direct deposit to that account for my Veteran's Disability Compensation, they have that information already, so I don't care! I simply put 'disabled veteran' as occupation, since I don't have a job. Sign and date the tax return and mail it in! Done!

   I put in my banking information, some people might not want to. Since I get direct deposit to that account for my Veteran's Disability Compensation, they have that information already, so I don't care! I simply put 'disabled veteran' as occupation, since I don't have a job. Sign and date the tax return and mail it in! Done!


Sources

Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments

Will you get a ‘coronavirus check’? $2 trillion stimulus package explained

All You Wanted To Know About Those Tax Stimulus Checks But Were Afraid To Ask

Who qualifies for the coronavirus stimulus payments?

Trump signs historic $2 trillion stimulus after Congress passes it Friday

People on Social Security are eligible for the one-time stimulus payment

I’m retired and claim Social Security — do I still get the $1,200 stimulus check?

5 Key Things in the $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Package

What's Inside The Senate's $2 Trillion Coronavirus Aid Package

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