Social Security Stimulus Update, What To Do If You Don't Receive Payment

Stimulus payments for Social Security and other federal benefit recipients being paid via direct deposit or Direct Express are expected to be received on Wednesday, April 7.

Those who don't receive a third stimulus payment or receive less than the full amount they're owed "may be eligible to claim the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit. If you are eligible for the 2021 Recovery Rebate Credit you must file a 2021 tax return next year to claim it," the Internal Revenue Service said on March 26.

Banks and credit unions are required to make the stimulus funds available to account holders by 9 a.m. local time on the settlement date, which in this latest payment round is April 7, a spokesperson for NACHA (National Automated Clearing House Association) told Newsweek on April 1.

NACHA manages the ACH Network, the national automated clearing house for electronic funds transfers.

Most federal benefit recipients will generally get their stimulus funds in "the same way that they receive their regular benefits," the IRS said on March 30. Federal aid funds are usually issued to Direct Express card accounts.

Many Social Security recipients have already received their stimulus payments, a spokesperson for the Social Security Administration (SSA) told Newsweek on March 26.

Those who filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return or submitted their details using the "Non-Filers" tool at the IRS website "were included in the first two batches of payments, if eligible," the IRS said in a statement on March 24.

The IRS will "automatically" send stimulus funds to those who didn't file a tax return but receive Social Security and other federal benefits.

What if I don't receive payment?

The IRS notes it "will be issuing the third round of payments throughout 2021. If you didn't receive one yet, it doesn't mean you won't."

Benefit recipients who don't receive their stimulus funds electronically on April 7 may be receiving payment by mail instead. The IRS will begin mailing paper checks to recipients from April 9, according to the SSA.

"The IRS does not plan to issue prepaid debit cards to beneficiaries for this third round of EIPs," the SSA adds.

For those who received a previous stimulus payment as a prepaid debit card, and not their Direct Express card account, "the IRS may send your next EIP by check in the mail," according to the SSA.

Social Security recipients with a non-U.S. address who don't usually file taxes and receive their benefits via direct deposit or Direct Express will receive their stimulus electronically "on or about April 21," the SSA said.

"Paper check EIPs [Economic Impact Payments], for beneficiaries [with a non-U.S. address] who receive their monthly Social Security payment in the mail, will be mailed beginning April 23," the SSA added.

The IRS said the third round of stimulus payments "will be delivered to the account where your federal benefits are issued."

For those who filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return or submitted their details using the Non-Filers tool last year, "the third payment will be sent to the bank account provided on your tax return for a direct deposit of your tax refund. If your tax refund was mailed or there was no refund on your tax return, then we will mail your payment to the address we have on file for you," the federal body explains.

Payment sent to the wrong account?

The IRS will reissue the payment as a check sent to the address it has on file "if your account is closed or a direct deposit was returned from your bank for any other reason," the federal body said on March 26.

"This is generally the address on your most recent tax return or as updated through the United States Postal Service (USPS)," it noted.

Stimulus funds sent to an account that is closed or no longer active "will be returned and the IRS will reissue the payment," Direct Express also said on March 23.

The IRS explains: "When there is no banking information available, before issuing a U.S Treasury check or EIP Card, Treasury's Bureau of Fiscal Service has provided IRS account information from agencies issuing benefit payments" including the SSA.

"The banking information can be either where a U.S. Government payment was sent or an account where an individual paid the U.S. Government," the IRS added.

What if I receive an incorrect amount?

Federal benefit recipients who don't normally file taxes but are also expecting stimulus payments for any qualified dependent may have not received this additional amount if they did not file a tax return.

The IRS stated on April 1: "Some federal benefits recipients may need to file a 2020 tax return, even if they don't usually file, to provide information the IRS needs to send payments for any qualified dependent. Eligible individuals in this group should file a 2020 tax return to be considered for an additional payment for their qualified dependent as quickly as possible."

For recipients who did not file a 2019 or 2020 tax return or submit their details using the Non-Filers tool, their third stimulus payment may have been $1,400 based on information the IRS received from the SSA or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The $1,400 payment would not have included any stimulus funds for their spouse or any qualifying dependent, the IRS explains.

"If you file a 2020 tax return, we will review the information about your spouse and dependents when we process it and may send you an additional payment beyond what you already received if you qualify for more based on your 2020 tax information.

"When you file your 2020 tax return, you may also be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for your spouse and any qualifying children under age 17 at the end of 2020," the IRS said.

See the IRS website for more information on how to claim Recovery Rebate Credit if you don't normally file taxes.

Social Security office California 2020
The logo of the U.S. Social Security Administration seen outside a Social Security building in Burbank, California on November 5, 2020. Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images