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IRS Offers Second Chance to Claim Dependent Stimulus Checks

Social Security, other federal beneficiaries had until Sept. 30 to file for $500 child payments

early evening photo of exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building sign in Washington D.C.

McClatchy DC/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

En español | The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is giving certain federal beneficiaries a second chance to claim $500 stimulus checks for eligible dependent children.

In the spring, in order to expedite the distribution of $1,200 stimulus payments to federal beneficiaries who had not filed federal tax returns for 2018 or 2019, the IRS gave beneficiaries a narrow window to claim additional $500 stimulus payments for qualifying dependent children. Most of those beneficiaries had to use the non-filers tool on irs.gov to submit a dependent claim. Once the claim window closed — for most it was May 5 — the beneficiaries were told they would need to wait until they filed their 2020 tax returns in 2021 to claim the dependent payments. That left many beneficiaries facing months-long waits to receive much-needed money during the pandemic.

In a July 27 letter to the IRS commissioner, AARP urged the IRS to reopen the non-filers tool to Social Security and other federal beneficiaries who missed the earlier deadlines so they could claim $500 stimulus payments for eligible dependent children. The IRS has now acquiesced to that request.


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"AARP is pleased that IRS has reopened its system to provide $500 economic impact payments for dependents of Social Security and other beneficiaries,” says David Certner, director of legislative policy for government affairs at AARP. “These payments are needed to help many older Americans who are struggling to care for younger dependents during the current financial crisis."

Social Security, SSDI, SSI, VA beneficiaries eligible

According to the IRS, beneficiaries of Social Security retirement, survivor or disability (SSDI) benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement benefits and Veterans Affairs (VA) Compensation and Pension benefits who did not file 2018 or 2019 tax returns can use the non-filers tool to claim the additional $500 for eligible dependent children under 17. The new window to use the tool is Aug. 15 to Sept. 30. Payments are expected to be made in mid-October. Those unable to access the non-filers tool may submit a simplified paper return following the procedures outlined on irs.gov.

The IRS says federal beneficiaries who already used the non-filers tool after May 5 to claim a dependent stimulus payment but have yet to receive the payment do not need to refile a claim. Those $500-per-child payments will go out automatically in October. Eligible recipients can check the status of their payments using the Get My Payment tool on irs.gov. Payments will be made in the same manner as original $1,200 stimulus payments were received, such as by direct deposit or paper check. Eligible beneficiaries who miss the new Sept. 30 deadline to claim dependent payments will need to claim the payments next year on their 2020 tax returns.

The IRS also reminds people who have little to no income or who are homeless that they can still use the IRS non-filers tool to claim their own $1,200 stimulus payments. The deadline is Nov. 21.

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