Do Social Security Recipients Qualify for a Stimulus Check Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic?
In late March 2020, President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act in response to the coronavirus pandemic, providing a $2.2 trillion stimulus package that includes “stimulus checks” to a majority of U.S. taxpayers.
Those stimulus checks will be mailed to Americans within three weeks from the signing of the CARES Act. The stimulus package will provide up to $1,200 per person, depending on their income, or $2,400 per couple, plus an additional $500 per child.
Do Social Security Beneficiaries Qualify for a Stimulus Check?
A previous version of the Act caused confusion among those who are receiving Social Security benefits. The previous version of the bill contained a provision that required $2,500 in qualifying income to receive the stimulus check.
For this reason, Social Security beneficiaries were worried that they would not be eligible to receive the stimulus check if the CARES Act considered Social Security income as a qualifying source of income, something that would have prevented tens of millions of Americans from receiving the check.
Will Social Security Recipients Get Their Stimulus Check Amid the Pandemic?
The CARES Act will provide stimulus checks to Social Security beneficiaries with almost no exception. The final version of the Act showed that the qualifying income requirement was tossed out.
Under the Act, an individual had to have received Social Security or veterans’ benefits or have filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 to allow the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to calculate what amount of the stimulus payment is due.
However, if it has been years since a retired worker filed their taxes, the IRS will still be able to check their benefit history in order to make them eligible to receive a stimulus check.
Stimulus Check: Exceptions and Requirements for Social Security Beneficiaries
However, there are some exceptions to the general rule. For example, a new Social Security recipient has not filed their 2019 tax returns and earned over $75,000 in adjusted gross income (AGI) in 2018 would most likely not receive a stimulus check.
Under the CARES Act, $75,000 is the acceptable threshold before payments start phasing out. Those who receive more than $75,000 in AGI could either see a reduced check (by $5 for every over-the-threshold $100 of AGI) or see no check at all.
On April 2, the Treasury Department announced that Social Security beneficiaries would not have to file a tax return in order to receive their stimulus check. Before the department’s announcement, many believed that Social Security recipients would have to file taxes to receive the check.
With some minor exceptions, all Social Security recipients qualify to receive their economic stimulus payment during the coronavirus pandemic. If you are one of those currently receiving benefits, you should most likely get your stimulus check shortly.
While eligible taxpayers will receive their stimulus check via direct deposit, the IRS will send the payment in the mail if the agency does not have the recipient’s banking information. Receiving your stimulus check in the mail could take longer.
If you are unsure about your eligibility to receive the stimulus check, contact a Tampa Social Security disability attorney. Our team of lawyers at Kobal Law will determine whether you qualify for the economic impact payment.