Social Security Recipients, Veterans Must Act Now to Get Extra $500 Stimulus Check

The deadline for seniors and veterans to request an additional $500 stimulus check for a dependent child is almost here. Here's how you can claim your payment.

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Seniors and veterans otherwise eligible for a stimulus check who receive Social Security retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement (RR) benefits, or Veterans Affairs (VA) compensation and pension benefits have until 3:00 p.m. Eastern on November 21, 2020, to claim an additional $500-per-child payment if they didn't already receive the amount as part of their original stimulus check. That's this Saturday!

Americans who receive these federal benefits, but didn't file a 2018 or 2019 tax return, should have automatically received a $1,200 stimulus payment earlier this year. However, if they have (or care for) dependent children 16 years old or younger, they were instructed to go online and use the IRS's "Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here" tool (opens in new tab) to get the extra $500 per child that's allowed under the CARES Act.

The catch was that they originally had to use the tool by a certain time and with little notice. People receiving Social Security, SSI, or RR benefits initially had until noon Eastern time on April 22 to have the additional amount included in their stimulus check payment – and the IRS gave them less than 48 hours' notice of the deadline! Veterans receiving VA benefits had until May 5 to use the IRS's online tool. Unfortunately, many seniors and veterans with dependent children didn't act in time and didn't get the extra $500.

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The Revised Deadline

Fortunately, the IRS reopened the registration period for Social Security, SSI, RR, and VA beneficiaries who didn't receive the additional $500 payment for a dependent child. They now have until 3:00 p.m. Eastern on November 21 to use the Non-Filers tool to provide information about their child. If you miss the November 21 deadline, you'll need to wait until next year and claim the $500 as a credit on your 2020 federal income tax return.

If you received your original $1,200 payment by direct deposit, the additional payment for your dependent children will also be directly deposited to the same account. Otherwise, you'll receive a paper check in the mail.

If you already used the Non-Filers tool to provide information on your children, no further action is needed – the IRS will automatically send a payment to you.

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.