Not Filing a Tax Return? You May Be Losing an Important Benefit

Individuals with special needs, especially those who qualify for SSI, often skip filing a tax return because their income is not high enough to require one. However, because their income is so low, individuals with disabilities who do file a return may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a special credit that has existed for the last 36 years to help low-income working individuals and families.

If a taxpayer with special needs who makes under $13,980 a year files a tax return and owes no taxes because of her minimal income, the Earned Income Tax Credit may provide a refund of up to $475. Families with annual incomes under or around $36,000 to $50,000 may be eligible to receive several times this amount. Importantly, the Earned Income Tax Credit doesn't count as income for SSI, Medicaid or Section 8 recipients. (The rules for assets vary by program.)

If you are interested in learning more about the Earned Income Tax Credit, Massachusetts elder law attorney Hyman Darling has written a helpful article on the topic that can be found here.

The IRS website also contains a wealth of information about the credit, including a calculator to help determine if you qualify. Article Last Modified: 04/22/2008