September 28, 2020 — In Rhode Island, nearly 25,000 people have not yet filed for their Economic Impact Payments, or stimulus checks, and the deadline to apply is rapidly approaching. For those who typically do not file an income tax return, the deadline is October 15 to apply for the $1,200 benefit. If residents are looking to access the additional $500 benefit for a dependent child — the deadline is even earlier — residents have until September 30 to apply for this from the IRS.
For many, navigating the forms and application portals can be daunting, so LISC has pulled together some key resources from the FDIC and IRS to help our partners at Financial Opportunity Centers, and other community-based organizations, navigate financial literacy topics and federal programs designed to provide support during the pandemic.
The IRS recently announced that nationally there are 9 million non-filers who still have not received their economic impact payments. The announcement encouraged residents who don’t typically file taxes and whose income is less than $12,200, or they are married and filing jointly with an income of less than $24,400, to use the non-filer payment portal by October 15 to ensure automatic deposit or delivery of their stimulus checks.
For many in danger of missing out on the benefit, being unbanked is part of the problem. The FDIC’s 2017 survey of unbanked and underbanked households report that more than one in four households (26.9 percent) are either unbanked or underbanked, and conduct some or all of their financial transactions outside of the mainstream banking system.
Information and a video on how to open a bank account, accessing key links and banking checklists can be a good starting place. There is information here on to choose an online bank.
In addition, the FDIC’s Alliance for Economic Inclusion has several resources and programs to help build economic inclusion including youth savings pilot programs, small dollar loan pilot programs and a Money Smart financial education program for individuals and small businesses. Specifically, the FDIC’s Money Smart financial education program can help people of all ages including students, teachers and caregivers K-12, adults, and seniors. Money Smart tools include train-the-trainer/instructor resources, instructor, and participant guides.