It is true to say MOST Social Security beneficiaries will receive their COVID-19 relief payments from the Treasury automatically.
The Treasury has just started to send American’s their payments, and in the case of retirees, how and when you’ll receive it will depend on how you’re set up to receive your Social Security benefits. If you receive your benefits by traditional mail, you can expect to see your check in your mailbox sometime soon. If you’re receiving benefits by direct deposit, this is the method the Treasury will use to deliver your relief payment.
However, there are certain groups who will need to provide the Treasury with additional information to make sure they receive the correct amount to which they’re entitled. If you fall under one of these groups, you WILL need to fill out an application with the IRS:
- Social Security beneficiaries with dependents under the age of 17. Under the CARES Act, individuals should receive an additional $500 per dependent. If, like many retirees, you did not file a 2018 or 2019 tax return, the IRS has no idea if you are claiming a dependent. Retirees claiming dependents who did NOT file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 will need to provide this information to the IRS.
- SSI beneficiaries—particularly those with qualified dependents.
- SSDI beneficiaries with qualified dependents who have not filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019.
- Social Security beneficiaries who began receiving benefits after January 1, 2020 and have not filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns.
If you fall under any of these categories, the IRS has set up an Economic Impact Payment portal on its website. Here you can click a link, answer some simple questions, and make sure your full stimulus payment is sent out the door.
From there, you may also have the ability to change how you’d like to receive your payment. For example, switching from a mailed check to direct deposit.