REGIONAL – Congressman Joe Courtney, D-2, paid folks at the Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. in Old Saybrook a visit on Mar. 19 to help them understand the recently passed economic stimulus program.
The Estuary, located at the M. Monica Eggert Senior Center, is open to seniors in several lower Connecticut River towns including Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.
About 45 people came to hear Courtney speak including Westbrook First Selectman Noel Bishop and Essex First Selectman Philip Miller.
Courtney, whose Second Congressional District covers 65 towns in eastern Connecticut, visited Old Saybrook as part of his comprehensive tour around the district which is aimed to help residents understand how the economic stimulus program will affect them.
Additionally, the IRS is in the process of sending out notices to taxpayers informing them of the program.
The economic stimulus program is expected to put up to $600 into the hands of more than 130 million Americans including seniors and disabled veterans.
Specifically, the program will provide recovery rebates to 20 million additional seniors and 250,000 disabled veterans.
Those recovery rebates will be seen by anyone who receives at least $3,000 in Social Security income, Railroad Retirement benefits, self-employment income, or veteran disability payments including survivors of disabled veterans.
Courtney said that in order to receive those checks, seniors and veterans who previously did not make enough income to file for IRS annual tax returns must file a 1040A form.
Those who file annual tax returns will not need to fill out additional paperwork to receive their check.
While income tax returns are due April 15, those filing a 1040A form have until Oct. 15.
Courtney explained that the economic stimulus program rebate check is separate from the tax return rebate check.
One of the key differences is that income from a tax return is taxable the following year but income received through the economic stimulus program is not taxable.
Courtney is hopeful that the program will “inject help in the system so that at least people can get their bills paid.”
Specific information about the economic stimulus program is available at Courtney’s Web site by visiting http://courtney.house.gov/infocenter/ or by visiting the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov.
Seniors needing help understanding the program can call 860-388-1611 to make an appointment so they can meet with a representative from AARP, between now and April 15, who will be at the Estuary Council of Seniors Center at 220 Main Street in Old Saybrook.
Military personnel and their families can get assistance through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program who will be at the Henry Carter Hull Library at 10 Killingworth Turnpike in Clinton through April 15.
Those interested can call 860-669-2342 for an appointment which can be scheduled between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.