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Published: Wednesday, 7/30/2008

Assistance available on stimulus checks in Lucas County


Nearly 7,000 senior citizens and veterans in Lucas County haven't received economic stimulus checks because they didn't file federal income tax returns, according to county officials.

Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz and county Commissioner Ben Konop are spearheading an outreach program to help them and others who did not file returns to get their stimulus checks.

The checks, which could be between $300 and $1,200, were part of a stimulus program passed by Congress to rejuvenate the nation's economy.

"Who couldn't use that in these tough economic times," Mr. Kapszukiewicz asked.

The two officials along with the United Way of Greater Toledo, the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, and the Lucas County Veterans Services Commission are working to help residents get their stimulus checks.

Although the initial deadline to file tax returns has passed, residents have until Oct. 15 to file a 1040A - a simplified form for those reporting under $50,000 in income - to register for the stimulus check.

"Seniors have built our community, and veterans served our country, and they deserve the benefits the U.S. government has to offer," Mr. Konop said.

Their effort is similar to a drive the two county officials led earlier this year to help low-income residents file for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

As part of the latest effort, an outreach program targeting local nursing homes and VFW and American Legion posts will be established to help residents fill out their tax forms before it's too late.

Bill Kitson, United Way president and chief executive officer, said eligible seniors and veterans can call the agency at 211 to get help with filing their returns.

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