Some Veterans Can Get a Bigger Stimulus Check (If They Act Now)

If you receive VA benefits and have dependent children, you might be able to boost your stimulus check by $500 or more. But you have to act by May 5.

(Image credit: (C)2018 FSTOP123 ((C)2018 FSTOP123 (Photographer) - [None])

If you're a veteran who receives compensation and pension benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), you'll automatically get a $1,200 electronic stimulus payment if you didn't file a 2018 or 2019 tax return. (If you did file a return for one of the last two years, the amount of your payment will be based on information contained on your most recent return). However, non-filers who receive VA benefits, and have (or care for) children under 17 years of age, can get an extra $500-per-child added to their stimulus check—if they act before May 5.

To get the additional stimulus payment, use the IRS's "Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here" tool to send the IRS information about your dependent children. (Go to irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here (opens in new tab) to access the tool.) But you need to do this by May 5 in order to get the extra $500-per-child added to your stimulus check.

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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Non-filers who receive VA benefits should receive their automatic payments by mid-May, according to the IRS.

Rocky Mengle
Senior Tax Editor, Kiplinger.com

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.