If you receive Social Security or SSI and you haven’t received your third stimulus check, your wait is almost over. The IRS began processing payments for people who receive federal benefits and aren’t required to file a tax return on Friday. Most of these payments will be available in bank accounts on Wednesday, April 7.
The April 7 payment date applies to those who get benefits from Social Security retirement and disability, Supplemental Security Income and the Railroad Retirement System. A payment date for those who get VA benefits hasn’t yet been announced.
With prior batches of stimulus checks, funds have cleared — meaning they were officially sent from IRS coffers into bank accounts — at 8:30 a.m. local time on Wednesdays. Banks and credit unions have been required to make those funds available to customers at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
That means if you don’t file a tax return and get Social Security retirement or disability, SSI or Railroad Retirement System benefits, you should check your bank account at 9 a.m. local time on Wednesday to see if your stimulus check arrived.
Why Are Social Security Recipients Still Waiting?
If you file a tax return and receive benefits, chances are good that you’re among the 127 million Americans who have already gotten their $1,400 stimulus checks. But about 30 million recipients of Social Security and other benefits are still waiting on stimulus money.
That’s because the IRS is processing stimulus payments using 2019 and 2020 tax returns. But just as with the first two rounds of payments, the IRS didn’t require recipients of Social Security and other benefits to file a tax return if they weren’t otherwise required to. Instead, the IRS got the information it needed from the appropriate agency.
This time around, the IRS was waiting on Social Security and other agencies to provide updated direct deposit information and addresses for recipients. On March 25, after the House Ways and Means Committee issued a 24-hour ultimatum, the Social Security Administration provided the updated information. The VA and Railroad Retirement System provided the information earlier in the same week.
For recipients of VA benefits, the IRS news release announcing payment dates says: “The IRS continues to review data received for Veterans Affairs (VA) benefit recipients and expects to determine a payment date and provide more details soon. Currently, the IRS estimates that Economic Impact Payments for VA beneficiaries who do not regularly file tax returns could be disbursed by mid-April.”
Do I Have to Do Anything to Get My Check?
Probably not. If you received the first two checks, you’re probably in line to get this one, too. The only thing you can do right now is wait.
One exception: If you have dependents, you may need to file a tax return, because the IRS may not get dependent information directly from Social Security or another agency. This time around, you’ll get $1,400 for each dependent, regardless of their age. If you have dependent children, submitting a return could also help you get a child tax credit of $3,600 for children younger than 6 or $3,000 for children 17 and younger.
You may not receive money on behalf of your dependent with your check. If you don’t get it with your check, the IRS will send you the extra money once it processes your return.
You can expect to receive your third stimulus check however you get your federal benefits, either through direct deposit or a Direct Express Debit Mastercard. If you’ve closed the bank account the IRS has on file, your bank will reject the deposit and you’ll get your payment in the mail.
Can I Track My Stimulus Check Yet?
Yes. The IRS Get My Payment tool was updated last weekend for benefit recipients who are getting paid on April 7.
The information is updated once a day. Avoid multiple log-ins, as you may get locked out for 24 hours.
Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and a senior writer at Codetic. She writes the Dear Penny personal finance advice column. Send your tricky money questions to [email protected]