Social Security Recipients Will Receive a Stimulus Check Automatically

Most people who receive Social Security benefits don't need to file a tax return or provide information to the IRS to get an economic impact payment.

(Image credit: Sharon Dominick Photography 2010 (Sharon Dominick Photography 2010 (Photographer) - [None])

(UPDATE: Social Security recipients with dependent children 16 years old or younger will have to use the IRS's online tool by noon (Eastern) on April 22 to get an additional $500 per child in their stimulus check if they didn't file a 2018 or 2019 tax return. The story below has been updated with this new information.)

At one point, it was thought that eligible Social Security recipients who didn't file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 would have to use the IRS's "Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here" tool to get a stimulus check payment. However, after some internal back-and-forth, the IRS said that you will automatically receive a $1,200 stimulus check if you received Social Security retirement, disability, survivor, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in 2019. (Ditto for if you received Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits.) The IRS will use information from the Social Security Administration (or RRB) to generate a payment to you if you didn't file a tax return in 2018 or 2019. (Note that you are not eligible to receive a stimulus payment if you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return.)

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Rocky Mengle

Rocky Mengle was a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger from October 2018 to January 2023 with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, Rocky worked for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and Kleinrock Publishing, where he provided breaking news and guidance for CPAs, tax attorneys, and other tax professionals. He has also been quoted as an expert by USA Today, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, Accounting Today, and other media outlets. Rocky holds a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.