SSI, Social Security, and COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments

To address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Congress authorized the payment of economic impact payments that will begin in April 2020. People eligible for the full payment will receive $1,200 (for individuals) or $2,400 (for married couples), with $500 per child, and higher earners will receive less or none. Economic impact payments will be made to taxpayers who filed for taxes in 2018 or 2019. See the IRS fact sheet for more information about whether you qualify for the full payment. 

Many people will need to provide additional information to the IRS in order to get their economic impact payments. This includes people who did not file taxes in 2018 or 2019 and who do not receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). People in this group should use the IRS Non-Filers Tool. To find the Non-Filers Tool here, and then click the button that says “Enter Your Information.” It will be necessary to create an account by providing an email address and phone number, and establishing a user ID and password. 

The deadline to use the Non-Filers Tool is October 15, 2020. People who use the Non-Filers Tool by that date should get their economic impact payment by the end of the year. If you did not receive the full amount for a dependent to which you believe you are entitled, you will be able to claim the additional amount when you file a 2020 tax return. Click here for the Treasury Department news release on this topic.

The IRS has arranged for individual Social Security and SSI recipients to receive the economic impact payment automatically. The deadlines have passed for Social Security and SSI beneficiaries to provide information about qualifying children using the Non-Filers Tool. If the IRS did not receive this information on time, the extra $500 per child will be paid in association with filing a tax return for 2020. In order to get the additional $500 per qualifying child, Social Security and SSI recipients should file a 2020 tax return, even if they would not ordinarily be required to do so. For more information, click here and here for IRS and SSA press releases.

Additionally, any new beneficiaries since January 1, 2020, of either Social Security or SSI benefits, who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, will also need to go to the IRS’s Non-Filers Tool to enter their information. Be aware of the October 15, 2020 deadline to use the Non-Filers Tool.

There is no fee required to receive economic impact payments, so beware of any scams.

The SSI program has eligibility requirements that are based on a person’s income or resources. The economic impact payments act as a tax rebate, and under federal law, tax rebates do not count as income or a resource for 12 months. See 26 U.S.C. § 6409.

This information is current as of August 4, 2020. Because events are occurring rapidly, check back soon for more updates.

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