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Social Security Beneficiaries: Here's When You'll Get Your Stimulus Check

By Katie Brockman - Apr 27, 2020 at 11:01AM

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You might receive your check in a matter of days, or it could take months.

Coronavirus stimulus checks are currently being distributed, and millions of Americans are eagerly awaiting their payment. Depending on your income, you could receive up to $1,200 (or $2,400 for married couples filing jointly), plus an additional $500 for each dependent under the age of 17.

There have been a few snags in the process of distributing stimulus payments, though, and some people may have to wait months before their check arrives. You can track the status of your check by using the IRS's Get My Payment tool, but for many Social Security beneficiaries, you'll see a message that says "Payment Status Not Available" -- which is likely because most Social Security recipients don't file tax returns.

If you can't track your payment, that doesn't mean you have to be in the dark about when you'll receive your check. Here's when you can expect to receive your stimulus money if you're collecting Social Security benefits.

Social Security card with dollar bills and coins.

Image source: Getty Images

Who will receive their money first?

The first people to receive their stimulus checks will be the ones who have their direct deposit information on file with the IRS. In that case, the IRS will simply deposit your stimulus check straight to your bank account.

If you're receiving your Social Security benefits via direct deposit, your bank account information should already be on file. The IRS is working with the Social Security Administration to determine who is eligible to receive a check and where that check should be sent, so you shouldn't need to do anything to get your payment.

If you receive your benefits in the mail via paper check, or if you're unsure whether your bank account information is on file, you can provide your information through the Get My Payment tool. This will help you get your check faster, because those who receive their check via direct deposit will be among the first to get their money.

The IRS estimates that Social Security beneficiaries who are using direct deposit should see their money deposited by the end of April. If you're opting to receive a paper check, though, you'll need to wait a little longer.

When will your check arrive in the mail?

Although using direct deposit will ensure you receive your check the fastest, you can get your check in the mail instead if your bank account information isn't on file. The IRS began sending stimulus checks the week of April 20, and it expects to mail out approximately 5 million checks per week. At that rate, it could take roughly 20 weeks for all checks to be delivered.

Whether you receive your check in a matter of days or months will depend on your income. The IRS is sending checks in a particular order, with the lowest-income individuals receiving theirs first. If you fall into that category, you can likely expect to receive your check relatively soon. But if your income falls closer to the $99,000 per year income limit (or $198,000 per year for married couples), you might not receive your check until late August or early September. If your income falls somewhere in the middle, you'll likely receive your check sometime this summer.

Finally, if you're receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you'll receive your stimulus payment in early May, according to the IRS. Whether you receive that money via direct deposit or paper check will depend on whether the IRS has your bank account information on file.

COVID-19 has caused significant financial hardship for millions of Americans, and waiting for your stimulus check can be stressful, especially if money is tight and you need the extra income. It's a little easier, though, when you can at least figure out when your cash is expected to arrive.

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