In April, the federal government began sending stimulus payments to individuals as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Most people receive $1,200, plus another $500 for each of their children under age 17. There has been confusing and conflicting information released on this subject, especially as it pertains to recipients of Social Security benefits. We hope to clear up some of that confusion.
Contrary to earlier guidance released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Treasury announced on April 1, 2020 that Social Security beneficiaries, including those receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), will not be required to file a tax return to receive a CARES Act stimulus payment. This was welcome news because previous guidance required these individuals to file a tax return to receive their payment(s).
Additionally, on April 15, 2020 the Social Security Administration announced that SSI recipients without dependents will automatically receive their stimulus payments without having to take any action. The money will come through whatever method they use to receive their SSI benefits typically—i.e., through direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or by paper check.
However, SSI recipients with dependent children who are seeking the extra $500 payment per child need to complete the IRS “Non-Filer” application form online by May 5. SSI recipients will receive their $1,200 stimulus money automatically, but the money for any children under 17 will be delayed if the Non-Filer Application form is not completed by May 5.
More information about who is eligible for stimulus payments, how they impact public benefits, and other frequently asked questions, can be found at Community Legal Services' website. The Social Security Administration has also created a fact sheet to help SSI and SSDI recipients determine whether they need to take any action to receive stimulus payments or a payment for a dependent child.
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As COVID-19 spreads, PHLP is committed to making sure those with Medical Assistance (MA) and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage have services; to securing insurance coverage for the uninsured; and to keeping consumers informed. Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center today for the latest COVID-19 updates, state policy documents, and Frequently Asked Questions.