What is an 'Elderly and Disabled Credit'

The Elderly and Disabled credit is a non-refundable tax credit available to taxpayers who are 65 or older, or who are legally, permanently and totally disabled. 

BREAKING DOWN 'Elderly and Disabled Credit'

The Elderly and Disabled Credit was created with the goal of providing financial relief to retired senior citizens or taxpayers with a disability who may be otherwise unable to find employment.

The Elderly and Disabled Credit is claimed on Schedule R of the individual tax return form. Married couples must file jointly to claim the credit. Some income and Social Security benefit limitations apply to a taxpayer’s ability to collect the credit.

Additionally, a taxpayer must have a physician’s written certification that they meet the criteria of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be considered disabled and to claim the credit. The taxpayer must also receive taxable disability income, and there are also additional income limits for the disability income.

Those looking to determine if they qualify for the Elderly and Disabled Credit when filing their annual income taxes should check the IRS website for qualifications or consult with a licensed tax professional.

What are Disability Benefits

According to the IRS many conditions legally qualify under disability. Being legally blind or possessing a diagnosis of a mental or physical disability may qualify you to receive disability benefits. This form of income is provided through the Social Security Administration (SSA). A person must be at least 18 years of age to apply for disability income, and their condition must be estimated to last at least 12 months or be expected to result in the death of the applicant and prevent them from obtaining gainful employment.

While there are many different conditions and diagnoses that can be considered a disability, all conditions require the diagnosis and certification of a licensed physician. Once a taxpayer has that information, the taxpayer can go directly to the SSA website and apply for benefits online, by phone or in the local SSA office.

Parents have the option to apply for benefits on behalf of their claimants when they are over the age of 18 but unable to complete the application on their own behalf. Also, those who receive disability income will not receive a W2 as most wage earners do at the close of a tax year. They will instead receive a 1099 and will use that form to determine any remaining taxable liability.  

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