Did You Get Your First Stimulus Check? If Not, Take Action by November 21 to Claim Your Payment.

If your first stimulus check still hasn’t arrived, you have to take action by November 21st  to claim your payment.

The IRS is still delivering stimulus checks from the first round of payments.  If you’re one of the millions of people who still hasn’t received your check, you’re probably wondering if you even qualify for one.

Answer the following questions:

  • Did you file a 2019 federal tax return?
  • Do you normally file taxes?
  • Have you already received a stimulus check?
  • Have you already registered for a stimulus check?

If you answered ‘no’ to all of the questions above, use the IRS’s Non-Filers Tool before 2 p.m. CST on November 21, 2020, to claim your payment.

If you don’t usually file a tax return and you have not received your stimulus check yet, the IRS may not have enough information to determine your eligibility. This includes people who receive the federal benefits listed below.

  • Those receiving Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivor benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients
  • Recipients of Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefits
  • Individuals who receive Railroad Retirement (RRB) benefits

You can submit your information online using the Non-Filers Tool. But you have to do it by November 21st.  Go to irs.gov and click on Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here.

Information you will need to provide

  • Full name, current mailing address and an email address
  • Date of birth and valid Social Security number
  • Bank account number, type and routing number, if you have one
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one
    • Taxpayers who have already been issued an Identity Protection PIN but lost it, must use the Get an IP PIN tool to retrieve their number
  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID, if you have one
  • For each qualifying child during 2019: name, Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number and their relationship to you or your spouse

What to expect

Follow these steps in order to provide your information:

  • Create an account by providing your email address and phone number. You will also establish a user ID and password for your account.
  • You will be directed to a screen where you will input your filing status (Single or Married filing jointly) and personal information.
  • Note: Make sure you have a valid Social Security number for you and your spouse if you were married at the end of 2019, unless you are filing “Married Filing Jointly” with a 2019 member of the military. Make sure you have a valid Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number for each dependent you want to claim for the Economic Impact Payment.
  • Check the “box” if someone can claim you as a dependent or your spouse as a dependent.
  • Complete your bank information; otherwise the IRS will send you a check.
  • You will be directed to another screen where you will enter personal information to verify yourself. Simply follow the instructions. You will need your driver’s license information or state-issued ID. If you don’t have one, leave it blank.

You will receive an email from Customer Service at Free File Fillable Forms, a trusted IRS partner, that either acknowledges you have successfully submitted your information, or that tells you there is a problem and how to correct it. Free File Fillable Forms will use the information to automatically complete a Form 1040 and transmit it to the IRS to compute and send you a payment.

An Important Reminder from IRS

Check your mail.  Some people may get their Economic Impact Payments on a prepaid debit card instead of a paper check, even if the IRS website shows they are receiving a check.  The debit card arrives in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services. The Visa name will appear on the front of the card. You will see MetaBank®, N.A. on the back of the card.  That’s the name of the bank that issued the card.  Information will be included with the card explaining that it is the Economic Impact Payment Card for the person identified as the recipient.

Head Start Parents, New Online Learning Resources Are Available!

HCHRA has added two more websites to provide fun learning activities your child will enjoy.  Below is a list of tools you can use to help keep your child on track for success in school.  Be sure to check back next week to see what else is new.

ABCYa provides games that touch on all academic areas — from ABCs to holidays.  It was created by teachers, and is aligned to standards. It never collects personal data, and is FREE on PCs.
www.abcya.com

Education.com
 provides printable worksheets and online activities to help children learn letters, numbers, words, and fine motor skills.
https://www.education.com/worksheets/preschool

Seussville lets children enjoy interactive reading games and activities featuring classic Dr. Seuss books and characters. The site includes a character guide, videos, book catalogue, Seuss biography, and tips for parents.
www.seussville.com/play/

Starfall provides opportunities for young children to have fun while learning their ABCs and reading skills through positive reinforcement in a brightly colored environment full of activities, games, and songs.
www.starfall.com/h/index-kindergarten.php

The Health and Nutrition Preschool Activities website has health and nutrition activities and crafts for families to complete at home.
www.first-school.ws/THEME/nutrition.htm

Scholastic: Clifford the Big Red Dog
 is a fun-filled learning resource for beginning readers.  The site features interactive storybooks, games and bilingual stories.
www.scholastic.com/clifford

Parenting the Super Kid at Meal Times provide nutritional activities for parents and children and helps build on the practice of family-style meals at home.
www.superkidsnutrition.com/pr_parenting-kid-meals/

StoryPlace
 offers preschoolers a virtual library experience.  Children can participate in story-time, watch videos, and play games.  The bilingual site also provides early literacy information and a guide to children’s books for parents and caregivers.
www.storyplace.org/

myON
 is an online collection of thousands of fiction and nonfiction digital books that you can access from home or anywhere you have Internet access!  You can also download books for offline reading.  About 10% of the titles are available in Spanish, and the book reader allows children to choose different reading support tools like audio narration (where the content of the book is said aloud as the child reads along), text highlighting (to show what word is being read), and there’s also a dictionary for every book. myON also gives you the ability to practice the Star Early Literacy Assessment – the reading test for students to take on a computer.  Below is all of the information you need to get started.

Website Address
www.myON.com
School Name:  Hinds County Human Resource Agency
Username: headstart
Password:  read

The Healthy at Home Toolkit provides our families with free learning activities that are easy to implement and can meet the different learning needs of our Head Start children. This toolkit was created by Teaching Strategies, ReadyRosie and The Creative Curriculum – they are the very same tools our teachers use in the Head Start classroom everyday.

Click here to access the Healthy at Home Toolkit. If you have trouble accessing the link, go to healthyathome.readyrosie.com.

Although we can’t physically come together at this time, these tools will provide endless hours of great learning activities.

If you have questions or need assistance, call us at (601) 923-1822 and leave a message including your contact information.  Although we are working remotely, calls are being monitored and a staff person will respond within 24 hours (excluding holidays and weekends).

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Recipients Will Receive Automatic Economic Impact Payments

The Internal Revenue Service, working in partnership with the Treasury Department and the Social Security Administration, announced on April 15, 2020, that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will automatically receive $1,200 Economic Impact Payments.  SSI recipients have now been moved into the automatic payment category and no action is needed on their part.  The IRS projects the payments for this group will go out no later than early May.

No action needed by most taxpayers
Earlier this month, the IRS took similar action to make sure that those receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits and Railroad Retirement benefits can receive automatic payments of $1,200. While these groups receive Forms 1099, many in this group don’t typically file tax returns. People in these groups are expected to see the automatic payments later this month.

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018 will also receive the payments automatically.

Extra step needed to claim $500 for children
Eligible taxpayers with qualifying children under age 17 will receive an extra $500. For taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019, the child payments will be automatic.  However, many benefit recipients are not typically required to file tax returns. If they have children who qualify, an extra step is needed to add $500 per child onto their automatic payment of $1,200 if they didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019.

For those who receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits or SSI and have a qualifying child, they can quickly register by using the special tool available only on IRS.gov and provide their information in the Non-Filers section. They will need to enter information on the IRS website about them and their qualifying children as soon as possible to receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment. If beneficiaries in these groups do not provide their information to the IRS soon, they will have to wait until later to receive their $500 per qualifying child.

The Treasury Department, not the Social Security Administration, will make these automatic payments to SSI recipients. Recipients will generally receive the automatic payments by direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their SSI benefits.

For those with dependents who use Direct Express debit cards, additional information will be available soon regarding the steps to take on the IRS web site when claiming children under 17.

For information about Social Security retirement, survivors and disability insurance beneficiaries, please visit the SSA website at SSA.gov.

General information about the Economic Impact Payments is available on a special section of IRS.gov.

Watch out for scams related to Economic Impact Payments
The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scams related to the Economic Impact Payments.  To use the new app or get information, taxpayers should visit IRS.gov.  People should watch out for scams using email, phone calls or texts related to the payments.  Be careful and cautious.  The IRS will not send unsolicited electronic communications asking people to open attachments, visit a website, or share personal or financial information.  Remember, go directly and solely to IRS.gov for official information.

More information
The IRS will post frequently asked questions on IRS.gov/coronavirus and will provide updates as soon as they are available.

HCHRA Offices Will Open May 4, 2020. Head Start Centers Will Remain Closed.

As announced last week, in compliance with government mandates to help protect children and families from the spread of COVID-19, all HCHRA Head Start centers will be closed for the remainder of the school year.  All other HCHRA staff will return on Monday, May 4, 2020, unless otherwise notified, and all other HCHRA offices will resume normal operations.

Based upon the guidelines issued by public health experts and governing authorities, work schedules and agency operations are subject to change. Updates will be posted here on our website every Thursday morning until further notice.

HCHRA staff will continue to work remotely to provide timely and professional service.  If you or someone you know has any concerns that need immediate attention, please dial 601-923-1822 and leave a message stating the nature of your call.  Be sure to include your contact information.  Calls are being monitored and a staff person will respond within 24 hours (excluding holidays and weekends).  You can also reach us by email at HelpDesk@hchra.org.

Let’s remain vigilant about hand washing, disinfecting and practicing social distancing to help protect those who are most vulnerable and get us all back to living normal lives as soon as possible.

Assistance for Food Service Workers Laid Off Due to COVID-19

The Refill Jackson Initiative just announced that they received a grant from Oxfam to assist food service workers who have been laid off, terminated, or had their hours significantly reduced because of COVID-19.

The grant application can be accessed via this link for Google users and this link for non-Google users.  Information is included on who is eligible for this assistance.

The Refill Jackson Initiative is a jobs training and skills development program supported by HCHRA through its Community Services Block Grant funds.

Please share this information with others who may benefit from this assistance.

UPDATE: Head Start Centers to Remain Closed Through April 17th

In response to ongoing health concerns related to COVID-19, and in accordance with Governor Tate Reeves’ executive orders, Hinds County Human Resource Agency Project Head Start centers will remain closed through April 17, 2020.

As we go through this very unusual and challenging time, HCHRA is encouraging our Head Start families to spend time together reading and learning.  To support those efforts, we are happy to provide our families with access to myON and The Healthy at Home Toolkit.

myON is an online collection of thousands of fiction and nonfiction digital books that you can access from home or anywhere you have Internet access!  You can also download books for offline reading.  About 10% of the titles are available in Spanish, and the book reader allows children to choose different reading support tools like audio narration (where the content of the book is said aloud as the child reads along), text highlighting (to show what word is being read), and there’s also a dictionary for every book. myON also gives you the ability to practice the Star Early Literacy Assessment – the reading test for students to take on a computer.  Below is all of the information you need to get started.

Website Address
www.myON.com
School Name:  Hinds County Human Resource Agency
Username: headstart
Password:  read

The Healthy at Home Toolkit provides our families with free learning activities that are easy to implement and can meet the different learning needs of our Head Start children. This toolkit was created by Teaching Strategies, ReadyRosie and The Creative Curriculum – they are the very same tools our teachers use in the Head Start classroom everyday.

Click here to access the Healthy at Home Toolkit. If you have trouble accessing the link, go to healthyathome.readyrosie.com.

Although we can’t physically come together at this time, these tools will provide endless hours of great learning activities. So, let’s get started today!

We will continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19 while we seek guidance from our local and state officials to determine school plans moving forward.  We will be sure to keep you informed of any new developments.  We miss our students and families and can’t wait to see your smiling faces again.  Until that time, let’s all do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19.

If you have any concerns that needs immediate attention, please dial 601-923-1822 and leave a message stating the nature of your call.  Be sure to include your contact information.  Calls are being monitored and a staff person will respond within 24 hours (excluding weekends). You can also reach us by email at HelpDesk@hchra.org.