Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Free Article Join Over 1 Million Premium Members And Get More In-Depth Stock Guidance and Research

Stimulus Checks: How Much Will Social Security Beneficiaries Receive?

By Katie Brockman - Jan 8, 2021 at 6:03AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Will you receive $600, $2,000, or nothing at all?

After months of negotiation, Congress finally passed a new coronavirus relief bill. Now, millions of Americans are eagerly awaiting a second stimulus check.

Back in the spring, lawmakers passed the CARES Act, which included a stimulus payment of up to $1,200 per person. The new relief bill is similar to the CARES Act in many ways, but there are a few key differences.

If you're currently retired or receiving Social Security benefits, here's what you need to know about the next stimulus check.

Stimulus stamp on cash and a check

Image source: Getty Images.

How much could you receive?

At roughly $900 billion, this new relief bill is substantially smaller than the $2.2 trillion CARES Act. How much Americans could expect to receive in stimulus money -- and whether stimulus checks would be included in the relief bill at all -- was a hotly debated topic for months.

Currently, Congress has agreed to stimulus payments of $600 per person, or $1,200 for married couples. In addition, you can also receive an additional $600 for each eligible dependent.

However, there is a slim chance that payments could increase to $2,000 per person. President Trump had initially threatened to veto the relief bill if it didn't include $2,000 stimulus checks, and several other lawmakers are also pushing for larger payments.

On Dec. 28, lawmakers introduced a new bill, the CASH Act, which included $2,000 checks. The bill passed in the House of Representatives, but was blocked in the Senate when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow a vote. A new session of Congress will begin on Jan. 3, though, which could potentially breathe new life into the now-dead bill.

Are Social Security beneficiaries eligible for stimulus checks?

The IRS has already begun depositing $600 checks into bank accounts across the country. The good news is that, like under the CARES Act, retirees and Social Security beneficiaries are eligible to receive a second stimulus check -- even if you didn't file 2019 taxes.

However, the income limits that determine exactly how much you'll receive have changed slightly. To receive the full stimulus payment, you must have an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 per year (for individuals), $112,500 per year (for heads of household), or $150,000 per year (for married couples filing jointly).

These numbers are the same as under the CARES Act. The difference is in the phase-out limits, which is when your payment will be reduced or withheld entirely depending on your income.

Tax Filing Status AGI to Receive Full Payment AGI to Phase Out of Payment
Individual $75,000 or less $87,000 or more
Head of household $112,500 or less $124,500 or more
Married filing jointly $150,000 or less $174,000 or more

Data source: IRS. AGI = adjusted gross income. 

So, for example, if you're filing as an individual with an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 per year, you'll receive the full $600 payment. If you're earning between $75,000 and $87,000 per year, you'll receive a check for less than $600. And if you're earning more than $87,000 per year, you won't receive a check at all.

With a second stimulus check on the way, most seniors can expect to receive a $600 payment sometime in the next several weeks, if timelines are similar to those under the CARES Act. Although $2,000 checks don't appear likely right now, an extra $600 can still make a difference during retirement.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
633%
 
S&P 500 Returns
140%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 12/07/2021.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Our Most Popular Articles

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with the Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from the Motley Fool's premium services.