County, Local Partners Help Residents Claim More Than $700,000

Calculator with PenThis blog originally appeared on the Health and Human Services site. 

Economic Impact Payments (EIP), also called “stimulus checks” were authorized by Congress through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to protect people from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19.

The Economic Impact Payments were designed to provide fast and direct economic assistance for workers and their families by providing up to:

  • $1,200 per adult for individuals whose income was less than $99,000 (or $198,000 for joint filers)
  • $500 per child under 17 years old
  • Or up to $3,400 for a family of four.
Individuals who filed a tax return or were receiving some type of social security benefit automatically received their stimulus check. For those who didn’t, the IRS created a tool for these individuals to register online for their EIP. However, about 12 million Americans were at risk of missing out on EIPs worth approximately $12 billion. These individuals were more likely to lack access to the internet and/or a reliable device by which to register or were unaware that they needed to take action to get their stimulus check.

From early August through the November 21 EIP deadline, Cuyahoga Job and Family Services, United Way 2-1-1, Enterprise Community Partners and The Greater Cleveland Food Bank teamed up to help thousands of Cuyahoga County residents access their stimulus checks.

Cuyahoga Job and Family Services worked with partners to create and utilize social media messaging, along with a direct text and email campaign, to inform residents that help was available. This was a targeted campaign to support low income families and individuals in need to access supports to register and receive the EIP. 

County residents were directed to United Way’s 2-1-1 who connected callers to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank’s Help Center where they were screened to determine if they were eligible for this critical financial support. The Food Bank spoke with almost 10,000 residents through this collaboration and connected callers to free food locations and received additional resources to support their households.

Those needing further assistance in claiming their EIP were referred to Enterprise Community Partners. In just three short months, Enterprise’s staff and volunteers helped over 600 residents claim their EIP which put over $700,000 into the households of residents who were unable to navigate the registration process alone.

And because this impromptu partnership encouraged self-service at each step, many more residents likely benefitted from this coordinated outreach campaign.

Visit the IRS website to learn more about this critical resource.