SSI recipients to receive automatic stimulus payments for coronavirus

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People who receive Supplemental Security Income will automatically get economic impact payments from the federal government in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Internal Revenue Service, the Treasury Department and the Social Security Administration said the economic impact payments will go directly to the SSI recipients’ bank accounts through direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their SSI benefits. The Treasury anticipates SSI recipients will receive these automatic payments no later than early May. [Note: The IRS later said that SSI and VA benefit recipients need to register their children and other dependents by May 5 to get the extra $500 per child stimulus payment before next year, if they haven’t already filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 (see our story). Use the Non-Filers tool here.]

“SSI recipients with no qualifying children do not need to take any action in order to receive their $1,200 economic impact payment. The payments will be automatic,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin in a statement Wednesday. “Recipients with qualifying children should use the ‘Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here’ web portal to enter basic information so they can receive their payments as quickly as possible.”

SSI recipients will receive a $1,200 economic impact payment with no further action needed on their part. Moving SSI recipients into the automatic payment category follows weeks of extensive cooperative work between the SSA, the Treasury, the IRS, along with the Bureau of Fiscal Services.

“Since SSI recipients typically aren’t required to file tax returns, the IRS had to work extensively with these other government agencies to determine a way to quickly and accurately deliver economic impact payments to this group,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig (pictured) in a statement. “Additional programming work remains, but this step simplifies the process for SSI recipients to quickly and easily receive these $1,200 payments automatically. We appreciate the assistance of SSA and the Bureau of Fiscal Services in this effort.”

Earlier this month, the IRS took a similar action to make sure those receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits and Railroad Retirement benefits could receive automatic payments of $1,200. While these groups receive Forms 1099, many in this group don’t typically file tax returns. People in these groups are expected to see the automatic $1,200 payments later this month.

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018 will also receive the payments automatically. About 80 million payments are hitting bank accounts this week.

The law provides eligible taxpayers with qualifying children under age 17 to receive an extra $500. For taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019, the child payments will be automatic.

However, many benefit recipients typically aren’t required to file tax returns. If they have children who qualify, an extra step is needed to add $500 per child onto their automatic payment of $1,200 if they didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019.

For those who receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits or SSI and have a qualifying child, they can quickly register by visiting a special tool available only on IRS.gov and provide their information in the Non-Filers section. By quickly taking steps to enter information on the IRS website about them and their qualifying children, they can receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment. If beneficiaries in these groups do not provide their information to the IRS soon, they will have to wait until later to receive their $500 per qualifying child.

The Treasury Department, not the Social Security Administration, will make these automatic payments to SSI recipients. Recipients will generally receive the automatic payments by direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their SSI benefits.

For those with dependents who use Direct Express debit cards, additional information will be available soon regarding the steps to take on the IRS website when claiming children under 17.

For information about Social Security retirement, survivors and disability insurance beneficiaries, visit the SSA website at SSA.gov.

General information about the Economic Impact Payments is available on a special section of IRS.gov.

SSI recipients who have qualifying children under the age of 17 can go to IRS.gov and click on the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” button. The tool will ask for basic information to confirm eligibility, calculate and send the economic impact payments, including:

  • Full names and Social Security numbers, including for spouse and dependents
  • Mailing address
  • Bank account type, account and routing numbers

SSI recipients will get the $500 per dependent child payment along with their $1,200 individual payment. If SSI beneficiaries in this group do not provide their information to the IRS soon, they will have to wait until later to receive their $500 per qualifying child.

For SSI recipients with dependents who use Direct Express debit cards, more information will be available soon about the steps they should take on the IRS website when claiming children under 17.

The Social Security Administration won’t consider economic impact payments to count as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.

For more information about Social Security retirement, survivors, and disability insurance beneficiaries, click here.

For more information on economic impact payments click here.

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Social Security IRS Treasury Department Coronavirus Charles "Chuck" Rettig Steven Mnuchin Social Security Administration
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