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COVID-19 UPDATE

At Axelrod & Associates, we face adversity daily when fighting for our clients. We want to assure our clients that during this time of adversity throughout our country, we will continue to fight for our clients and provide quality legal representation that defines Axelrod & Associates, P.A.

Please view our COVID-19 statement to learn more about the steps we are taking to continue to provide legal representation for our clients while putting health and safety first.

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How Do I Get the COVID-19 Stimulus Check if I am on Social Security?

For most people who have direct deposit set up for their tax returns, they have received or will receive a COVID-19 stimulus check directly in their bank account - you don't need to do anything except wait for the Treasury Department to deposit the funds.

But what if you receive social security for retirement or disability, and your income is not enough to file a tax return? Will the money be automatically deposited into your account even if you have not filed tax returns?

For some people, the COVID-19 stimulus check will be automatically deposited into their bank account even though they have not filed a tax return. For others, though, additional action will need to be taken to ensure you receive the funds - you may need to either 1) enter your information on the IRS's website or 2) file your 2019 tax returns before receiving the money.

How Do I Get the COVID-19 Stimulus Check if I am on Social Security?

If you are receiving social security payments each month, whether it is retirement, survivors, or disability benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will still receive a COVID-19 stimulus check.

The question is: Will the money will automatically be deposited into your bank account (or a check automatically mailed to you) or do you need to take additional action to receive your payment?

COVID-19 Stimulus Check If You Have No Dependents Under Age 17

According to the Social Security Administration, if you are receiving social security retirement, disability, or survivors benefits, you will automatically receive your COVID-19 stimulus money in the same manner that you receive your benefits if you do not have dependents under age 17:

Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who do not have qualifying children under age 17:

You do not need to take any action with the IRS. You will automatically receive your $1,200 economic impact payment directly from the IRS. You should receive the automatic payments by direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or by paper check, just as you would normally receive your Social Security benefits.

It doesn't matter how you receive your benefits - whether it is directly deposited into your bank account, deposited onto a debit card, or received through the mail, the COVID-19 stimulus check will arrive in the same way.

What if you have dependents under age 17? Things get a bit more complicated - and they are made more confusing by what appears to be contradictory information on the Social Security Administration's website...

COVID-19 Stimulus Check if You Have Dependents Under Age 17

Why does it matter if you have dependents under age 17?

The current stimulus payments include $1200 for each adult and an additional $500 for each dependent child. If you receive social security payments, have not filed a tax return, and want to receive the additional $500 for each dependent child, you must enter your information on the IRS's website:

People who receive Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits, who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, and who have qualifying children under age 17 and those receiving SSI who have qualifying children under age 17:

People receiving SSI benefits who did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes, and have qualifying children under age 17, however, should not wait for their automatic $1,200 individual payment. They should immediately go to the IRS's webpage www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here at and visit the Non-Filers: Enter Your Information section to provide their information. SSI recipients who have dependent children and did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes need to act by Tuesday, May 5, in order to receive additional payments for their eligible children quickly.

If you don't enter your information on the IRS's website, you will still receive the $1200 stimulus check for adults, but you will not receive the $500 payment per child.

The current deadline for entering your information on the IRS's website is Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - what happens if you miss the deadline?

But wait, what is the deadline? In the above-quoted section, the Social Security Administration says the deadline is May 5. You have about a week left to enter your information on the IRS's website. Below that information, however, the Social Security Administration repeatedly lists the deadline as April 22, 2020.

Should we assume that the SSA extended the deadline, changed the date in one paragraph, but didn't think to change the date everywhere else on the webpage? We don't know.

But, if you have dependent children and are receiving social security, you should attempt to fill out the information on the IRS website before May 5, 2020. Note that, although the deadline in the paragraphs below is April 22 (already passed), the paragraph above that on the SSA website does say the deadline is May 5 (you've still got time).

What if You Miss the Deadline and You Have Dependents Under the Age of 17?

If you missed the deadline to enter your information on the IRS website and you began receiving your benefits before January 1, 2020, you must file a 2020 tax return to get the $500 per child COVID-19 stimulus check (but you will still receive the adult $1200 check).

Some people receiving Social Security benefits who did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes, and have qualifying children under age 17, needed to use the IRS' Non-Filer web page (see link above) by Wednesday, April 22, to receive additional payments for their eligible children quickly.

  • Social Security beneficiaries who missed the April 22 deadline and who started receiving their benefits before January 1, 2020: They must wait to file a tax year 2020 tax return to obtain the additional $500 per eligible child.

If you missed the deadline to enter your information on the IRS website and you began receiving your benefits on or after January 1, 2020, you can still enter your information on the IRS website and you do not need to file a 2019 tax return to receive the additional $500 per child stimulus money:

Social Security beneficiaries who missed the April 22 deadline and who started receiving their benefits on or after January 1, 2020: They may continue to use the IRS' non-Filer web page to get their and their children's economic impact payment without waiting to file a tax year 2020 tax return for their eligible children.

Do I Need to File a 2019 Tax Return Before Receiving the COVID-19 Stimulus Check?

Except for the situation we discussed above - if you have dependent children, missed the May 5 (or April 22) deadline to enter your information on the IRS website, and you began receiving benefits before January 1, 2020 - you do not have to file a 2019 tax return before receiving your stimulus check.

It will come to you automatically.

When Do I Need to Enter My Information on the IRS's Website to Receive the COVID-19 Stimulus Check?

If you began receiving your benefits after January 2020 (social security or supplemental security income (SSI), and if you did not file a 2018 or 2019 tax return, you must enter your information on the IRS's website in order to receive your stimulus check:

New beneficiaries since January 1, 2020, of either Social Security or SSI benefits, who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019:

Social Security beneficiaries and SSI recipients in this category may use the IRS' Non-Filer: Enter Payment Info Here tool to receive their own $1,200 payment and $500 payment for qualifying children. You may only enter non-Direct Express bank account information for direct deposit, or leave bank information empty to receive a paper check by mail.

To sum up:

  • If you do not have dependent children and you began receiving benefits before January 1, 2020, your check should be deposited or mailed automatically.
  • If you did not file a 2018 or 2019 tax return and you began receiving benefits after January 1, 2020, you must enter your information on the IRS's website.
  • If you have dependent children, you must enter your information on the IRS website before either April 22 or May 5, 2020. If you do not, you will still receive the $1200 adult check but not the $500 per child payment.
  • If you have dependent children, miss the deadline, and you began receiving benefits on or after January 1, 2020, you can still enter the information on the IRS's website and you do not need to file an income tax return.
  • If you have dependent children, miss the deadline, and you began receiving benefits before January 1, 2020, you must file your 2019 tax return before receiving the $500 per child payment.

Is the COVID-19 Stimulus Check Considered Income for Purposes of SSI?

The stimulus payments are not considered income for purposes of SSI:

Please note that we will not consider economic impact payments as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.

Got Axelrod?

Your Myrtle Beach social security and disability attorney on the Axelrod team can help you to file for social security or supplemental security income benefits or to appeal a denial of your benefits.

Call 843-353-3449 or complete our contact form for a free initial consultation.

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