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 receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)  may not have filed taxes in 2018 or 2019. The IRS has arranged for individual Social Security and SSI recipients to receive the economic impact payment automatically.

Beneficiaries with qualifying children under age 17 will need to take an extra step in order to receive the additional $500 per child. Social Security recipients had until April 22, 2020 to submit additional information about dependent children. SSI and VA recipients have until May 5, 2020 to submit information about dependent children using the IRS Non-Filers tool online. You can find the Non-Filers tool here, and by clicking 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. If the IRS does not receive the extra information on time, the extra $500 per child will be paid in association with filing a tax return for 2020.  For more information, click here for the most recent IRS press release and here for the most recent SSA press release.

If you use the Non-Filers tool to provide information to the IRS, you may only use a bank account and not a Direct Express account. The $1,200 payments for individuals can be made to a Direct Express account, however.

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.

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 April 27, 2020. Because events are occurring rapidly, check back soon for more updates. 

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