Stimulus Check Alert: Social Security Recipients with Children Must Act Now to Get Extra $500

The IRS announced a new deadline for people receiving Social Security benefits who have dependents. Immediate action is required!

(Image credit: Copyright Maskot (Copyright Maskot (Photographer) - [None])

Americans who receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits will automatically get a $1,200 electronic stimulus payment even if they didn't file a 2018 or 2019 tax return (assuming they are otherwise eligible for a check). However, if non-filing Social Security or RRB recipients have (or care for) children 16 years old or younger, they have to use the IRS's "Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here" tool to get an extra $500 per child added to their $1,200 payment. (Go to (opens in new tab) to access the tool.)

If that's you, the IRS needs to know about each dependent before your payment is issued. As a result, you must use the online tool by noon Eastern time, Wednesday, April 22, in order to have the additional $500 per child included in your stimulus check payment.

If the IRS doesn't have the dependent information in time, your stimulus payment will be for the standard $1,200 amount. However, you will be able to claim the additional $500 per child amount when you file your 2020 tax return next year.

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People who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Administration (VA) benefits have some additional time beyond April 22 to add their children, since their $1,200 automatic payments will be made at a later date. SSI recipients will receive their automatic payments in early May, while the payment schedule for VA beneficiaries has not yet been determined. Nevertheless, if they have children and aren't required to file a tax return, both groups should use the Non-Filer tool as soon as possible. Once their $1,200 payment has been issued, they will no longer be able to use the online tool to add children. Their stimulus payment will be $1,200, and they'll have to wait until next year to claim the extra $500 per child payment.

(Use our Stimulus Check Calculator to see how much you will get. For stimulus check FAQs, see Your 2020 Stimulus Check: How Much? When? And Other Questions Answered.)

Rocky Mengle
Senior Tax Editor,

Rocky is a Senior Tax Editor for Kiplinger with more than 20 years of experience covering federal and state tax developments. Before coming to Kiplinger, he 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 has a law degree from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in History from Salisbury University.