The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to affect and reshape our daily lives in multiple ways. Many people are concerned about their health, their finances, and their future, Social Security recipients can at least rest assured that they will continue to receive a monthly check like usual. With the recent passing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, additional benefits may be available as well. Let’s take a look at how the COVID-19 outbreak could impact your Social Security benefits right now and in the future.
Be on the Lookout for Social Security Scams
While you can still expect to receive benefits like you normally do, it’s important to protect yourself from scams. Most scammers take advantage of senior citizens who are concerned about losing their benefits and who may not understand the extent of the current crisis, nor the protections in place to keep them safe. From suspicious websites to emails that promise “safe investments,” there are many ways that scammers are trying to target Social Security recipients. Before you take any action, remember that you will still receive your Social Security benefits even during the COVID-19 outbreak, so any proposal to “restore your benefits” is likely a scam.
We Face an Unknown Future
Although we are assuming that our lives will eventually return to normal once the public health crisis subsides, we don’t exactly know the long-term impacts that this pandemic will have on our future. It may be that the Social Security system gradually becomes too strained over time, and the mass layoffs around the country due to the virus may result in a loss of retirement benefits over time. As fewer people pay into Social Security, the program could face solvency issues later on.
Consider All of Your Options
During these financially unstable times, it may be tempting for retirees to tap their retirement accounts. However, in some cases, using too many funds from a retirement account could result in your Social Security check being taxed more heavily. For instance, if you tap your retirement account too heavily, you’ll be taxed on up to 85 percent of your Social Security benefits if your individual income exceeds $34,000. Before you rush to liquidate your retirement account, carefully weigh all of your options to determine the safest path forward.
If you are not receiving Social Security benefits, and did not file tax returns for 2018 or 2019, you may need to file a tax return to be eligible for the Coronavirus Economic Impact Payments. For more information, go to: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-impact-payments
Now more than ever, it’s essential to make sure you receive the Social Security disability benefits to which you are entitled. Drew L. Johnson, P.C. is committed to answering the questions and serving the needs of Eugene and Albany residents. Call (541) 434-6466 today to arrange a free initial consultation with a dedicated Social Security disability benefits attorney.