The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) announced today that that tomorrow, Friday, March 18, 2022, TRS-Care policyholders will receive a one-time payment of $448.12 in the form of a one-time check or direct deposit. TRS members who receive paper checks will receive theirs through the mail and should account for mailing time.

During the 87th Texas Legislative third special session in fall 2021, the Legislature appropriated $286 million to TRS active and retiree health programs through Senate Bill 8. This appropriation allowed TRS to obtain reimbursement for COVID-19 related claims from a one-time federal funding source.

Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) membership supported and advocated for this bill as a part of its push to help both TRS-Care and TRS-ActiveCare participants. SB 8 passage was a significant achievement in favor of retired educators and active school employees participating in these health care programs.

From the $286 million additional appropriation for these programs, TRS-Care, the retiree health care program, had an additional $83 million appropriated to it this year. With these funds, a one-time payment of $448.12 will be sent to approximately 185,000 plan participants or surviving spouses. The payment will arrive as a one-time check or direct deposit. This is in addition to retirees’ monthly TRS annuity.

A few frequently asked questions are answered below by TRS, with several others available online (please visit One-Time Payments for TRS-Care).

Who is eligible for the one-time TRS-Care payment?

  • To be eligible, the policyholder must be actively enrolled in TRS-Care as of January 1, 2022. They must still be enrolled in TRS-Care when funds are distributed in March 2022. If you’re the surviving spouse of a TRS retiree and enrolled in TRS-Care as of January 1, 2022, you may also be eligible to receive this one-time TRS-Care payment. Approximately 185,000 retirees and surviving spouses are eligible for this one-time TRS-Care payment.

Will I pay taxes on this one-time TRS-Care payment? 

  • Generally, if you pay TRS-Care premiums with after-tax dollars, then, in most cases, you will not have to pay tax again on the amount you receive as a one-time TRS-Care payment. However, whether IRS considers the one-time TRS-Care payment as taxable income is largely dependent on your specific tax situation. Depending on your unique tax situation, you could owe income tax on part or all of the one-time TRS-Care payment when you file your 2022 income tax next year. TRS will not withhold federal income tax from this $448.12 payment. If you’re not sure about the tax impact of this one-time TRS-Care payment, you should consult a tax professional to determine how this may affect you for the 2022 tax year.

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