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Can I Get a Stimulus Check If I Just Claimed Social Security in 2020?

New beneficiaries may need to register on irs.gov to receive payments

closeup display of Social Security card with money, pen, eyeglasses, $100 dollars

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En español | If you just claimed Social Security in 2020 and didn't file taxes in 2019 and 2018, you can still get a stimulus check. You just have to use the online non-filers tool from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to register. The payment won't come automatically.

The IRS has sent more than 88 million stimulus payments (and counting) to Americans since the passage of the CARES Act on March 27, but it didn't have the information to get money to some groups, including those who just started to receive Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in 2020 and hadn't been required to file federal returns in 2019 and 2018. Because there are no tax returns and they received no benefits in 2019, they would have no recent tax records on file with the IRS and the agency would have nowhere to send their payments.

New Social Security beneficiaries and SSI recipients in this category may use the non-filers tool on irs.gov to sign up to receive their own $1,200 payment and additional $500 payments for qualifying children under 17. You may only enter bank account information for direct deposit, or you may leave bank information blank to receive a paper check by mail. You can't leave information for a Direct Express account.


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May 5 deadline for most SSI, VA beneficiaries to claim child stimulus payments

Newly minted 2020 beneficiaries can also heave a sigh of relief because they can ignore the deadlines to register children for child stimulus payments: April 22 for Social Security and May 5 for SSI and Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiaries. Those deadlines apply to beneficiaries who started receiving benefits before 2020. New beneficiaries since Jan. 1 have all year to register information for themselves and their children, though there's no incentive to delay.

For those who began receiving benefits before 2020, the IRS expects automatic payments for Social Security beneficiaries to go out no later than the end of April. Automatic payments for SSI recipients are slated for no later than early May. The payments do not count as income for tax purposes and do not count against eligibility for SSI beneficiaries.

SSI and VA beneficiaries who received benefits in 2019 but did not file tax returns for 2019 or 2018 will receive their $1,200 payments automatically, the IRS says. But if they have children younger than 17, they need to register them with the agency by May 5 to get the $500-per-child payment added to their stimulus check; otherwise, they will have to file a 2020 tax return next year to claim those additional $500 payments.

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