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Social Security Beneficiaries Urged to Register for $500 Child Stimulus Payments by April 22

Non-filers who miss deadline will need to file 2020 tax returns to get dependent payments

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En español | The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced Monday that Social Security beneficiaries who did not file 2018 or 2019 tax returns have until Wednesday, April 22 at noon ET to register dependents under age 17 on in order to receive additional stimulus payments of $500 per child. Non-filing beneficiaries, including survivors and recipients of Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), who miss the Wednesday deadline will need to wait until next year to claim the $500 on their 2020 tax returns. The April 22 cutoff also applies to railroad retirees.

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Under the CARES Act signed in March, most adult Americans will get stimulus payments of $1,200. The IRS is using information from 2019 or 2018 tax returns to send out many of those payments. Since many Social Security beneficiaries and railroad retirees typically aren't required to file a tax return, the IRS announced in early April that those people will get $1,200 checks automatically. Those $1,200 payments will be issued soon, the IRS says.

To get an additional $500 per eligible dependent soon, at the same time as the $1,200 payment, those beneficiaries who haven't filed 2019 or 2018 tax returns will have to register using a special IRS web tool for non-filers. Missing the noon deadline on April 22 doesn't mean the $500 stimulus payments will be lost to beneficiaries, but it does mean those beneficiaries will need to wait until 2021 to receive the money after filing a 2020 tax return. Beneficiaries will not be able to use the non-filer tool on to add eligible children once their $1,200 payments have been issued automatically.

SSI, VA beneficiaries have extra time to register children

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients and Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiaries have some additional time beyond April 22 to add their eligible dependent children, since their $1,200 automatic payments will be made at a later date. SSI recipients will receive their automatic payments in early May, according to the IRS. The VA payment schedule for beneficiaries who receive compensation and pension (C&P) benefit payments is still being determined.

Low-income filers who have children and haven't filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return should also use the non-filer tool as soon as possible to register for additional $500 stimulus payments.