This article was last updated on January 3
[Updated after passage of new COVID relief Stimulus bill] Funding for another one-time stimulus check has been passed under the recently enacted $900 billion COVID relief package. It won’t be as much as the first $1200 ($2400 for couples) stimulus check amount that many wanted, but in order to keep the overall stimulus bill’s price-tag to below $1 trillion and maintain support for the proposal, leaders have cut the proposed one time stimulus check payment to $600 for adults AND dependents.
For those who do not file a return, like eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security retirement and disability (SSDI), they will automatically receive the new stimulus checks in line with how they got their first stimulus check following agreements between the IRS and the Social Security Administration (SSA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). They will get the payment the same way they get their current federal benefits today – direct deposit, direct express debit card or in the mail. Per the update below they can also use the IRS non-filer tool (when available) to update bank accounts, add dependents and get the latest status of their payments.
[Update on fixes to Non-filer payments] This IRS has fixed system issues which had prevented payment of the $500 dependent stimulus credit to many eligible recipients. The resolved $500 dependent stimulus (economic impact) payments were sent out from early August for each qualifying child. Further the IRS has opened the non-filers tool again to allow those eligible federal beneficiaries who didn’t receive a payment to submit their banking details. See more in this article.
For those Social Security, SSI, Department of Veterans Affairs and Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries who have already used the Non-Filers tool to provide information on children, no further action is needed. The IRS will automatically make a payment in October.
Update on another Second Stimulus Payment in 2020
Congressional leaders have agreed in principle that a second stimulus check will be paid in 2020, given the ongoing economic fallout from the COVID crisis. This CARES 2 economic impact payment (a.k.a stimulus check) will be part of the next stimulus package, which is still under review due to several other politically contentious items (like an extension of unemployment benefits). However another round of one-time stimulus check payments seems to be agreed upon by Republicans and Democrats, and the general consensus is for a $1200/$2400 payment in August.
The second stimulus payment will include eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivors benefits, Railroad Retirement. These groups should also all be getting stimulus checks in the same manner (but hopefully faster) that they got their first stimulus payment
The good news is that another $500 child stimulus payment will also likely be provided and will be expanded to cover those under 24 (versus under 17 in the first stimulus payment), so high school and college age dependents would be covered.
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Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivors benefits, Railroad Retirement, or veterans benefits in 2019 will automatically receive $1200 stimulus checks following agreements between the IRS and the Social Security Administration (SSA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Recipients will not be required to file a tax return and will get the payment the same way they get their current federal benefits today – direct deposit, direct express debit card or in the mail.
When Will These Payments be Made
Multiple systems and processes need to be put in place to enable validating and processing these payments. Hence expect delays. Veterans and their beneficiaries who receive (C&P) benefit payments from VA should receive the $1,200 payment towards the end of April per IRS guidelines.
Those receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement benefits can expect to receive automatic payments of $1,200 from early May.
The Treasury Department via the IRS, not the VA or SSA, will make the automatic stimulus check payments.
Extra step needed to claim $500 child dependent stimulus
The CARES act also provided an additional $500 payment for those with qualifying dependents under the age of 17. For taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019, the qualifying child payments will be automatic. However for people who fall into the groups described in this article – VA, Social Security retirement or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits – an extra step is needed to add the $500 per child onto their $1200 stimulus check. They will need to register via the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info” available only on IRS website (see details). Otherwise the extra $500 payment (‘Plus $500’ as the IRS calls it) will be delayed to subsequent payment runs.
“The deadline is quickly approaching for these groups so they can get their maximum Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 and $500 for each eligible child as quickly as possible,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “These groups will get $1,200 automatically, but they need to act quickly and use the Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov to get the extra $500 per child added to their payment. Everyone should share this information widely and help others with the Plus $500 Push, so that more Americans get more money as fast as possible.”IRS
How do I get the Stimulus Check when I don’t file taxes
Per IRS, SSA and VA guidance many government program beneficiaries who don’t have to file taxes have used the non-filers tool to add their dependents. But while they got their adult stimulus check they didn’t get the extra kid stimulus payment for their eligible dependents. This is a situation being experienced by many Americans with SSDI and VA benefits (see this article for details and comments from people in a similar situation). The IRS’ solution to this issue is for those impacted to claim this payment in 2021 when they file their 2020 taxes. However many SSDI, SSA and VA beneficiaries don’t file taxes – because they don’t make enough to file taxes! So they are stuck in a catch-22 situation.
This situation has created a lot of issues for many SSDI and VA recipients who needed the money asap and while there is no immediate solution is in place, it has been raised as an issue by several members of Congress. The IRS will hopefully put in a fix for this and is working with the SSA and VA agencies. So we will just have to wait till until there is an update that allows eligible recipients to get their money sooner. Otherwise filing a tax return (which should be free if your income is below IRS thresholds) may your only recourse to get his money – although much later than you would like to have received it. If you were ale to find a better solution or want to share your story, please leave a comment below.
If you were claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return:
You do not need to take any action. You do not qualify for the Economic Impact Payment; you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. However, if you are not someone’s dependent in the 2020 tax year, you may be able to claim the credit by filing a 2020 tax return in 2021.