Payments from the $2.2 trillion stimulus package -- also known as the CARES Act -- have already begun showing up in taxpayers' bank accounts. The large majority of people won't need to do anything in order to receive the payments, which amount to as much as $1,200 for each qualifying adult, $2,400 for married couples, and $500 per child.
However, this isn't that case for everyone. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Department have sent out an urgent call to three groups in particular that need to take immediate action in order to ensure they get their complete stimulus payments:
- Social Security beneficiaries
- Railroad Retirement beneficiaries, and
- Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiaries
The IRS is asking taxpayers in these situations to register their eligible dependents no later than noon on April 22, or they may not receive their additional $500 per child payment until they file their 2020 tax return early next year.
Payments for these children aren't automatic
The IRS, in conjunction with other government agencies, has gone to great lengths to ensure that those on government benefit programs can receive their $1,200 stimulus payment without too much trouble. This includes those receiving Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits.
In most cases the payment will come automatically, even if these people weren't required to file a tax return in 2018 or 2019. The payment is scheduled to be distributed in the same manner as regular benefits, either via direct deposit into their bank account or by check.
Unfortunately, if a tax return hasn't been submitted, the government has no way of knowing if participants of these benefit programs have children that may qualify for the $500 additional stimulus payment. This means that action isn't taken immediately, potential recipients may be forced to forego this additional stimulus payment intended for children until next year.
Here's what to do right now
If you fall into any of the above categories, the IRS and Treasury Department are asking you to take immediate action to ensure you receive the stimulus payment intended for your children this year.
Head to the IRS.gov website and click on the "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here" link, then follow the prompts to enter the following information:
- The full name and social security numbers each family member
- Current mailing address
- Bank account information, including type of account (checking or savings), routing number and account number. Those that receive benefits via Direct Express should leave this blank.
Finally, the IRS noted if you received SSI or VA benefits, you'll have slightly more time to enter your information, as these stimulus payments are scheduled to be made at a later date. If you received SSI benefits, your stimulus payment is currently scheduled to be processed in early May, while eligibility for those receiving Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments from the VA is still being determined.