30 Million People Could Now See Stimulus Checks Quickly. Here's Why

by Maurie Backman | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on March 25, 2021

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Older person counts dollar bills from their purse.

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Older Americans can rest assured they won't be left out of this stimulus round.

Though the American Rescue Plan was only signed into law on March 11, several batches of $1,400 stimulus payments have already hit recipients' bank accounts. But one group has been notably left out of that distribution -- seniors on Social Security. Thankfully, that's about to change.

Seniors will soon get their share

Most of the stimulus payments that have already gone out have arrived via direct deposit. It's easy for the IRS to blast out batches of electronic funds, so many who were eligible for direct deposit have already gotten their money.

The IRS got its direct deposit information from tax returns filed over the past two years. At one point, it also opened an online portal for stimulus check recipients to register their bank account details.

But many seniors on Social Security aren't required to file a tax return, so the IRS may not have had the information necessary to send their cash electronically. Furthermore, not all seniors are tech-savvy, and many may not have realized the IRS had a registration site for bank account information.

As a result, a lot of Social Security recipients are waiting on their stimulus cash -- but they won't be for long. This week, Democratic lawmakers pushed the Social Security Administration (SSA) to send the IRS information that should clear the way for about 30 million recipients to get their stimulus checks. The SSA has since complied. Lawmakers are urging the IRS to process that information quickly and not delay payments to older Americans.

So far, the IRS has issued 127 million stimulus payments as part of this third round. That's $325 billion they've sent out to Americans. The IRS is working with other federal agencies to get information on additional beneficiaries who are eligible for a stimulus check. That includes those who receive benefits from Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Affairs, and the Railroad Retirement Board.

There are also many younger recipients who have yet to receive their stimulus cash. The IRS can only issue so many physical payments at a time, so those awaiting a check or debit card may not see their money until April or May. The IRS says it's working hard to get those funds out. But the fact that stimulus payments are going out in the middle of tax season probably isn't helping matters.

In fact, the IRS recently delayed the tax-filing deadline, moving it from April 15 to May 17. That could buy the agency more time to issue refunds, so it can focus on getting stimulus money out instead. Avoiding stimulus delays is crucial for unemployed Americans. For those whose benefits may not come until mid-April, some people must endure a multi-week gap in unemployment payments.

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