Cover Arizona and the Arizona Alliance For Community Health Center are launching a public information campaign to assist Arizonans who have not received a stimulus check.
An estimated 12 million people with very low incomes have not received their federal stimulus checks authorized by the CARES Act, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The same report estimates that 200,000 Arizonans could claim $198 million. People who do not file taxes because of very low incomes and are not associated with a select group of federal programs must take action by October 15, 2020 to receive a stimulus check. Unfortunately, a disproportionate share of these non-filers are people of color because of historical patterns of racism that have contributed to lower incomes.
Cover Arizona and the Arizona Alliance For Community Health Centers work with a statewide network of Health Application Assisters who help consumers apply for AHCCCS (Medicaid), KidsCare, the Health Insurance Marketplace and SNAP (formerly Food Stamps). Health Application Assisters are available to help those who have not received a stimulus check because of very low income or they have not filed taxes in recent years. “We want to do what we can to find, inform and assist people who have not taken action to receive a stimulus check”, said Marcus Johnson, Health Policy Director at Vitalyst Health Foundation that convenes the Cover Arizona Coalition. Those who have not filed taxes can use an online Internal Revenue Service form request a stimulus check. To connect with someone who can help with stimulus checks and applications for health coverage and food benefits, call 800.377.3536 or go to www.coveraz.org/connector.
If someone is interested in applying directly to IRS, first go to: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here and read more to determine if you are eligible. Click on “Enter Your Information” to proceed with filling out the application form. Both Spanish and English versions are available.
According to Allen Gjersvig, Director Outreach and Enrollment at the Arizona Alliance For Community Health Centers, approximately 100 Health Application Assisters have been trained on the process for identifying and helping non-filers apply for their CARES Act checks. These two organizations are actively encouraging other community organizations to inform and assist consumers they are working with who may not have received a stimulus check.