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Here's how the homeless, transient population can access their stimulus check

COVID-19 and Homeless
Posted at 4:54 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 19:30:09-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Millions of Americans are seeing their third stimulus check automatically mailed to them this week or deposited directly into their bank accounts.

For those who don't have a bank account or are transient, if you're eligible, you could still receive all three stimulus payments.

You need to be a U.S. citizen and have a Social Security number.

"It’s a good amount of money and most people don’t realize you don’t have to have earned income in 2020 to get stimulus payments," said Renee Roberts of Fax Tax of Inglewood. "Homeless people are eligible, those who didn’t work are eligible and those who are incarcerated."

People experiencing homelessness were directed to register with the IRS using the "Non-Filers" tool on its website by November 21, 2020, to claim their stimulus money.

Those who missed the deadline can still get their payments.

"What they have to do is file a 2020 tax return to recover those first two stimulus payments and once they do that they are automatically eligible for the third payment," Roberts said.

Tamara Kreigh with United Way of Greater Nashville's VITA program says they offer free tax prep assistance for any household in Tennessee that made less than $72,000 in 2020. VITA stands for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance free tax prep program. Visit unitedwayfilefree.org or call 211 for more information.

You can easily file with them in person, or get assistance through your computer or smartphone.

If you don't have a bank account, not to worry!

"Through our partnership with GetYourRefund we are able to, if they don't have a bank account, we're able to sign them up for focus card which is a loadable prepaid debit card it's through a nonprofit so no fees and everyone can apply for that," Kreigh said.

If you don't have internet or a smartphone, the library may be an option for you.

"I've heard taxpayers go to the library do through curbside pick up pick up a copy of their 1040, filling it out and mailing it in," Kreigh added.

If you do not have a bank account and don’t wish to open one, the IRS can mail you an Economic Impact Payment Card. This functions like a debit card.

If you don’t have a permanent address, you can also arrange having your stimulus money sent to a local post office, homeless shelter or religious place of worship.

The deadline to file your taxes is April 15.