Veterans to Get Third Stimulus Check by Mid-April

The IRS is still reviewing data it received from the Department of Veterans Affairs that is needed to process third stimulus payments to certain veterans.

picture of an amputee soldier walking on a road with an American flag over his shoulder
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Veterans who didn't filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return or use the IRS's Non-filer tool last year may have to wait a bit longer to receive a third stimulus check. That's because the IRS is still reviewing data sent over from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that it needs to process third-round stimulus payments for them. The tax agency currently estimates that stimulus payments for VA beneficiaries who don't regularly file a tax return could be sent by mid-April.

Third-round stimulus payments are generally based on information included on either a 2019 or 2020 tax return. That's why many veterans who receive VA benefits who filed a 2019 or 2020 return already received a third stimulus check. However, if you don't file a return, the IRS has to look elsewhere for the necessary information. The Non-filers tool that the IRS set up last year to collect data for first-round stimulus checks is one possible source for the needed data. Another is a federal agency that pays you benefits on a regular basis – such as the Department of Veterans Affairs for certain veterans. But once information is sent by another federal agency, the IRS must go through a multi-step process to validate and test the data. That's what's happening now with the files sent to the IRS by the VA.

Most VA beneficiaries who are eligible for a third stimulus check won't need to take any action to receive a payment. But some veterans may still need to file a 2020 tax return – even if they don't usually file one – to get an extra $1,400 for each dependent in their family. That's because the data sent by the VA won't necessarily include information about your dependents. (The deadline for filing a 2020 tax return is May 17, 2021.) If you don't file a 2020 tax return, you can still claim the additional amount you're entitled to by filing a 2021 tax return next year and claiming the Recovery Rebate credit.

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Social Security Recipients to Get Payments Sooner

The IRS also received data from the Social Security Administration that will allow it to send payments to seniors who didn't file a 2019 or 2020 tax return or use the Non-filer tool last year. This data is being processed sooner. As a result, Social Security recipients are expected to start receiving payments on April 7.

Track the Status of Your Third Stimulus Check

Once the stimulus payments are processed, veteran non-filers will be able to track those payments on the IRS's "Get My Payment" tool (opens in new tab). The online portal tells you:

  • The status of your stimulus payment;
  • The form of your payment (paper check or direct deposit); and
  • The projected direct deposit or paper check delivery date.

For more information about the tool, see Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Tool to Get an Answer.

How Much Money Will Veterans Get?

Every eligible American will receive a $1,400 third stimulus check "base amount." The base amount jumps to $2,800 for married couples filing a joint tax return. You also get an extra $1,400 for each dependent in your family (regardless of the dependent's age).

People with a higher income won't receive the full amount, though. Third-round stimulus checks will be reduced – sometimes to zero – for anyone with an adjusted gross income (AGI) above a certain amount on their latest tax return. If you filed your most recent tax return as a single filer, your third stimulus check will be phased-out if your AGI is $75,000 or more. That threshold jumps to $112,500 for head-of-household filers, and to $150,000 for married couples filing a joint return. Third-round stimulus checks will be completely phased out for single filers with an AGI above $80,000, head-of-household filers with an AGI over $120,000, and joint filers with an AGI exceeding $160,000.

Trying using our Third Stimulus Check Calculator (opens in new tab) to see how much you'll get. Just answer three easy questions to get a customized estimate.

For more information about third-round stimulus payments, see Your Third Stimulus Check: How Much? When? And Other FAQs.

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.