Ocean County Press Release
TOMS RIVER – "It's automatic," Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari told senior citizens concerned that they may not receive a federal stimulus check.

"The federal government has reassured us that every senior citizen who receives Social Security benefits will automatically receive a stimulus check, whether they file a federal tax return or not," Vicari said. "Seniors do not have to take any action."

Seniors who direct deposit their Social Security benefits directly into their bank accounts will receive their stimulus money in the same fashion, said Vicari, who is also Chairman of Senior Services.

Others will receive a check in the mail.

"I have heard from many seniors concerned that because they are not required to file a federal tax return, they may not receive the stimulus money. This is not the case," he said.

Individuals are due up to $1,200 and couples will receive up to $2,400.

"This money is especially important to our seniors who are not only at high risk from the coronavirus but are facing the same issues as younger families in finding necessities such as toilet paper," Vicari said.

Ocean County is home to more than 173,000 seniors, so the stimulus checks will also be a boost to the local economy, Vicari said.

Direct deposit stimulus checks are expected to begin arriving in late April, although exact dates have not yet been announced.

The Ocean County Office of Senior Services is open and assisting seniors by phone, Vicari said. The office can be reached at 732-929-2091.

While the checks are good news for many, Vicari warned seniors to be wary of unscrupulous individuals who may try to take advantage of this unexpected influx of cash.

"Beware of scammers," he said. "Never give out personal or banking information over the phone."

Fake phone calls and emails are already circulating around the nation asking for social security numbers, bank account numbers and other personal information, Vicari said.

Anyone who has been contacted by a suspected scammer is asked to call the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs at 732-929-2105.

"Our Consumer Affairs office is working closely with the Ocean County Prosecutor and the state Attorney General to protect our seniors and all of our vulnerable residents," Vicari said.

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