I am not really the type to accept or qualify for most government welfare programs, but sometimes the government is giving away money. With the recent recession, the government created a number of incentive programs to jump start economic growth. The Cash for Clunkers deal, extension of unemployment benefits and a first time home buyer credit were just a few of these stimulus programs. If you happen to fall within the guidelines, then you just need to complete some paperwork and the money will be yours.
I have never in my life received an unemployment check from the government. Even when I was laid off, I had over 3 months severance and found a job before it ended. So while I paid into the unemployment system for over 10 years, I never used it. As I understand it now, you can get an unemployment check for up to 99 weeks now. Where is the incentive to find work with that kind of handout?
In the Fall of 2009, the Federal government extended the original home buyer credit and expanded it to long term home buyers. The original plan gave $8000 to any first time home buyer. It expired last year and Congress decided to extend to April 2010 and expanded it to include anyone that had lived in there home for 5 years and give them $6500. Wow, what a nice bonus! I now just qualified, owning my last home for 5 years.
I put my home search into high gear during the Winter of 2010. Within a couple of months I found allot of good deals with foreclosures and bank owned properties. I finally decided on a brand new construction at the end of February and closed on the house on March 10th.
I had already filed my 2009 taxes electronically. So on March 31st, I paper filed an amended Tax Return for the home buyer credit. For the home buyer credit, you had to file by paper with 5-years home owner documentation, since their were reports of many people scamming the system. On May 18th, 2010 I got my check!