How Non-Filers Can Get Their Federal Stimulus Check

Millions of families are missing out on a $1200 or $2400 federal stimulus check, officially known as an Economic Impact Payment, because they did not file a tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. According to a report issued by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “About 12 million Americans risk missing out on the stimulus payments provided through the recent CARES Act because they must file a form by October 15 to receive it.”

Households may still be eligible for payments under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). To claim the payment non-tax filers must complete a “Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here” application and provide simple information. Issuance of Economic Impact Payments do not affect various social benefit programs, such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Medicaid. The stimulus payment is a tax credit and does not count against social programs or as a Public Charge.

It is estimated there are 725,00 adults and children in New Jersey and Pennsylvania alone who missed receiving automatic payments, totaling $725 million.

According to IRS, the following may be eligible for the Economic Impact Payment: U.S. citizens, permanent residents and qualifying resident aliens who:

  • Have a valid Social Security number,
  • Could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and
  • Had adjusted gross income under certain limits.

To apply use the IRS Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool if you are not required to file a federal income tax return for 2019 for any reason, including:

  • Your income is less than $12,200
  • You’re married filing jointly and together your income is less than $24,400
  • You have no income

Information you will be required to provide includes: full name, current mailing address, an email address, dates of birth and valid Social Security numbers, bank account and routing number, if you have one, driver’s license or state-issued ID, if you have one. To provide the required information individuals must create an account with IRS, providing their email address, phone number and establish a user ID and password.

Additional information is available on a recent report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, titled, “Aggressive State Outreach Can Help Reach the 12 Million Non-Filers Eligible for Stimulus Payments.”

The deadline to apply is October 15, 2020.

Faith Group Seeks Voter Registration Organizer

The Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network (UUPLAN) , a statewide advocacy network whose mission is pursuing justice by voting, advocating and making just public policies, is seeking to hire a part-time voter registration Organizer for their Pennsylvania UU the Vote Campaign.

PA UU the Vote, is a non-partisan faith initiative, in partnership with broader justice movements, to engage neighbors, educate our communities, mobilize voters, and rally around key ballot initiatives. It is part of the larger nationwide Unitarian Universalist Association.

According to the job description, UUPLAN “seeks to retain a part-time, consulting Organizer to work with Unitarian Universalist congregations to increase voter participation in Pennsylvania, particularly in communities negatively affected by voter suppression, for the November 3, 2020 general election (“the Project”). The Organizer will be joining a team of lay and clergy leaders in congregations across Pennsylvania and nearby states who have spent the past six months building a network of engaged volunteers ready to ramp up their civic engagement activities.”

Interested candidates are urged to submit a resume and cover letter as soon as possible to Reverend Joan Sabatino, Director UUPLAN Education Fund, via email: director@uuplan.org. Provide appropriate descriptions of experience, skills and knowledge. Provide three references. It is the intent of the UPEF to select and retain an Organizer as soon as possible.

Please feel free to distribute the full voter registration Organizer job description to your networks or post to social media.

PA Register to Vote Flyer

At the eulogy for George Floyd we were reminded our movement won’t rest. We will continue to fight on until there is justice. To those who have marched and protested around our country and throughout the world, thank you.

For more than a year a number of us have been working hard to register voters in Philadelphia. A few months ago a group coalesced to become the Philly Voter Engagement Network, meeting on a weekly basis to promote voter registration and voter engagement. My contribution this past Friday was the development of a Register to Vote flyer. Feel free to post it in your community, share with organizations and networks.

The flyer was created for these COVID-19 times. A person can scan the QR Code with their smartphone and fill out the PA Department of State’s PA online voter registration form. Another QR Code (QR is short for quick response, created by a company, Denso Wave) links a prospective or a re-registering voter to a page for printing a hard copy voter registration application form.

The register to vote flyer will be an effective tool for registering or updating a voter registration record under the following conditions:

  • Attached to a sign while in public spaces
  • Attending protest marches, rallies or vigils
  • At other socially-distanced events
  • Placing on community bulletin boards
  • Displaying in local shop windows

Feel free to copy, distribute and reproduce this flyer. Share it with your network.

Together, we know our voices can be heard. Be safe. Be a voter.

Philly Vote By Mail Letter

The 2020 elections may well be the most important in our lifetime. Our state legislature and Governor Wolf, acting in a bipartisan spirit, have enabled us to vote from the safety of our homes. The upcoming June primary election will be an appropriate time to test the state’s capacity to process mail-in ballots. This is the first election when all Pennsylvanians will have the option of voting by mail. We need to make sure the process runs smoothly in the fall when we may still need to be practicing social distancing.

Pennsylvania’s primary election has been moved to June 2 due to COVID-19. For your safety and protection, I urge you to vote by mail in this upcoming election. You can sign up online for an absentee or no excuse needed mail-in ballot. If you include your email address in the mail-in application, you will be able to check your Election Ballot Status.

Philadelphia voters who do not have internet access or do not have a PA driver’s license or state ID should call the Office of the City Commissioners. Leave your name, address, zip code, date of birth and telephone number when asking for a mail-in or absentee ballot application. The deadline to request a ballot is May 26, but it will take time for the city to process an unprecedented number of mail ballot application, so please request your ballot ASAP.

Voting by mail is a secure option that has been successful in other states. According to Amber McReynolds, CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute, “the system has proven to be highly secure, and engages more voters, while significantly lowering costs.”

For assistance, contact these City Commissioners:
Lisa Deeley, 215-686-3460, Lisa.Deeley@phila.gov
Omar Sabir, 215-686-3462, Omar.Sabir@phila.gov

Be safe.

Vote By Mail Three-Step Process

• Step 1: Get the Absentee or Mail-In Ballot
• Step 2: Complete the Absentee or Mail-In Ballot
• Step 3: Deliver the Absentee/Mail-In Ballot to the right place by the right time

Step 1, Option A: Get the Ballot Online
• Sign up for an Absentee/Mail-In Ballot online at VotesPA.com/ApplyMailBallot by answering questions:
• Are you a military or overseas civilian absentee voter?
• Are you applying for a ballot because you will be absent from your municipality for the upcoming election?
• Are you applying for a ballot for the upcoming election because you have an illness or physical disability?
• Based on the answers, Absentee or Mail-In Ballot will be mailed

Step 1, Option B: Get the Ballot Through the Mail
• Sign up for an Absentee or Mail-In Ballot
• Download a paper application for an Absentee Ballot or Mail-In Ballot from VotesPA.com
• Fill in and sign the paper sign-up form
• Mail the sign-up form to the appropriate County Board of Elections Office
• Requests for Absentee and Mail-In Ballots must be received by the County Board of Elections by 5:00pm the Tuesday before the Election (May 26 / October 27). Postmarks are not accepted. (See Step 3 for deadline to deliver completed ballot.)

Step 2: Complete the Ballot
• Mark the Absentee/Mail-In Ballot, following the instructions
• Place the completed Ballot in the secrecy envelope and then put the secrecy envelope into the outside envelope with the declaration printed on it
• Be sure to sign the form and use the secrecy envelope or Ballot may not count

Step 3: Deliver the Ballot
• Deadline is now 8:00pm on Election Day
• DELIVER THE COMPLETED BALLOT TO THE RIGHT LOCATION
• The County Board of Elections Office must receive the marked Absentee/Mail-In Ballot on Election Day by 8:00pm
• Do not deliver the Absentee/Mail-In Ballot to a polling location
• Postmarks are not accepted
• If you mail the Absentee/Mail-In Ballot, it must be RECEIVED by the County Board of Elections by 8:00pm on Election Day

Steps 1, 2, & 3 All At Once
• IN-PERSON EARLY Absentee/Mail-In Balloting
• Go to your County Board of Elections Office – find it here
• The County is required to provide an Absentee or Mail-In Ballot, over-the-counter, while you wait
• Mark the Absentee/Mail-In Ballot in private at the County Board of Elections Office following the County’s instructions carefully
• Hand the completed Ballot back to the County Board of Elections right then and there

Note: The above “Vote By Mail Three-Step Process” was written by the PA Dems Voter Protection Team and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.