SSI Recipients to Get $1,200 Emergency COVID-19 Automatically Deposited

Coronavirus IRS Check for Man on Social Security

Questions Seniors Have About The Coronavirus IRS Checks

Until recently, there were more questions than answers about the one-time $1,200 payments to millions of eligible individuals that were at the centerpiece of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law March 27, 2020. How much will the check be? Will Donald Trump's name be on them? If I don't file taxes will I still get the coronavirus relief payment? These were just a few of the many questions surrounding the CARES Act and the money being disbursed. Finally people are starting to see their checks and some answers are coming to the forefront.

What If I Get Social Security Income and/or Don’t File Taxes?

Initially, the IRS declared that it would have to have a tax return on file for anyone receiving a coronavirus relief payment.  Many low-income people, however, do not file tax returns because they simultaneously earn too little and lack sufficient employment history to be eligible for a refund. This population includes some of the most vulnerable to the coronavirus -- the elderly and people with disabilities. It is estimated that more than 15 million Social Security beneficiaries did not file tax returns last year.

After protests from AARP, lawmakers, seniors, and other advocacy groups, the IRS reversed course and said that Social Security retirement and disability recipients, some veterans, and many others who don’t file tax returns would automatically receive their checks using information the IRS gleans from Form 1099.  However, that still left plenty of people who don’t receive 1099s – including recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and veterans disability compensation -- out to dry because they don’t receive 1099 forms. A few days later, the IRS announced its new non-filers portal, where recipients can enter pertinent information to receive their checks, and on April 15 the Department of the Treasury announced that SSI recipients will have the  $1,200 emergency COVID-19 relief checks automatically deposited in their bank accounts just as they would normally receive their SSI benefit. .

According a Social Security Administration notice issued on April 10, "people who receive Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits and who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 and who have qualifying children under age 17 should now go to the IRS’s webpage to enter their information instead of waiting for their automatic $1,200 Economic Impact Payment.  By taking proactive steps to enter information on the IRS website about them and their qualifying children, they will also receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment.  If Social Security beneficiaries in this group do not provide their information to the IRS soon, they will have to wait to receive their $500 per qualifying child."

When Can You Expect the Money?

Those people for whom the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has direct deposit information will receive their relief money quickest. The first wave of direct deposits went out on April 11, starting with low- and middle-income earners. How long it takes for the funds to hit your account depends on how long it takes your bank to process direct deposits.

You Can Check Your Relief Payment’s Status

On April 17, the IRS launched a “Get My Payment” Web tool where relief payment recipients can check the status of their payment and when it is expected to arrive via direct deposit or mail. If you filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and didn’t sign up to receive a refund via direct deposit (or didn’t receive a refund at all), you’ll be able to provide your bank information to the IRS using this Web tool, in addition to the non-filers portal the agency previously set up.

Estate Planning Attorney in Avon Lake

At Joseph L. Motta, elder law and estate planning firm in Avon Lake, OH, we know the coronavirus pandemic has caused a substantial uncertainty and questions regarding your estate planning. We specialize in staying up-to-date on bills, provisions and other changes that could impact your estate planning. We continuously put our expertise to work to provide you with the best advice. Call 440-930-2826 to schedule a free consultation .