Stimulus Payment Update: When SSI, Social Security Recipients Should Get Their Checks

The Internal Revenue Service will begin mailing stimulus paper checks on April 9 to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients who receive federal benefits by mail, the Social Security Administration (SSA) advised Monday.

The IRS was expected to begin issuing stimulus payments this past weekend to recipients who don't usually file taxes. The federal body projected the "majority of these payments would be sent electronically and received on April 7."

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," according to the SSA.

"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 said.

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

Residents can check the status of their payment using the Get My Payment tool at the IRS website.

"More details on this third round of Economic Impact Payments and federal benefit recipients will be available soon on," the IRS said on March 30.

Prepaid debit cards

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

Federal benefit recipients who received a previous stimulus payment as a prepaid debit card, and not on their Direct Express card account, may receive their third stimulus payment as a paper check, the SSA notes.

Direct Express payments

Only current Direct Express cardholders can receive their third stimulus payment on their cards. Those who currently don't have a Direct Express card account cannot open one now in order to receive the stimulus funds.

Stimulus payments sent to an account that is closed or no longer active "will be returned and the IRS will reissue the payment," Direct Express said on March 23.

The SSA says residents can receive stimulus funds on their Direct Express card if the following apply:

  • You did not file a 2020 or 2019 tax return;
  • You did not use the IRS' "Non-Filer" tool at the IRS website to provide information to receive a previous stimulus payment; and
  • You receive your monthly Social Security benefit or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment via a Direct Express card.

Many have received their stimulus payments

On March 26, a SSA spokesperson told Newsweek that "many Social Security beneficiaries have already received" their stimulus payments.

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

On March 24, nearly 30 million were reported to be waiting to receive their stimulus payments because the SSA had "not sent the necessary payment files" to the IRS, according to a letter sent to the SSA by the House Ways and Means Committee.

The required paperwork was sent to the IRS on March 25, two weeks after President Joe Biden's COVID-19 relief bill was signed into law on March 11.

In a statement on March 25, SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul blamed the delay on a lack of staff funding.

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Social Security office California 2020
A sign seen outside a U.S. Social Security Administration building in Burbank, California on November 5, 2020. The Internal Revenue Service will begin mailing stimulus paper checks on April 9 to recipients of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income who receive their federal benefits by mail. Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images