Seniors can benefit from the new economic stimulus law enacted on February 13th, but it appears that you will need to file an income tax return to do so. Seniors, disabled veterans, and veterans’ widows will receive $300 payments if they earned $3,000 in Social Security or veterans’ disability benefits in 2007. In addition, workers who earned at least $3,000, but not enough to pay income taxes, will be eligible for payments of $300.

For higher income individuals, the law provides rebate checks of up to $600 per individual. The stimulus payment begins to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes (AGI) over $75,000 and married couples who file a joint return with AGI over $150,000.

In order to get a rebate, you will need to file an income tax return even if you do not have any tax liability. You will need to report your Social Security income on the tax return. This does not necessarily mean you will be taxed on your Social Security income, but you must report it in order to get the rebate. If you file your tax return on time, the IRS says you should receive your rebate check in May or June. Most seniors should be able to file the (relatively) easy form 1040A. Many senior centers are helping seniors complete tax returns. Call your local center to find out.

For more information on the stimulus payments and what income tax forms to file, go