Economic Impact Payments: What We Know (As of Today)

The most recent press release from the Social Security Administration (SSA) reiterated what is believed to be the current guidance on economic impact payments (a.k.a. stimulus checks) at this point in the unfolding implementation of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In brief, Commissioner Andrew Saul’s bulletin and other related bulletins we’ve received include the following updates:

  • Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Those who filed a return in 2018 or 2019 but did not provide banking information with the return will need to use the IRS portal (now being developed) to submit their banking information.
  • The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 to generate $1,200 ($500 to dependent children or grandchildren under age 17) non-taxable economic impact payments to Social Security beneficiaries who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019
  • Income phaseout limits (AGI) for eligibility remain the same ($75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head of household, and $150,000 for married filing jointly)
  • Beneficiaries will receive their economic impact payments by direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their Social Security benefits
  • For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Recipients, economic impact payments will not be considered as income for and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months

In a separate Twitter feed, SSA earlier provided guidance on concerns related to scammers and the continuity of Social Security and SSI payments, specifically:

  • Your Social Security benefits and SSI payments will continue during the crisis
  • SSA offices are closed to the public for face-to-face service. SSA will provide limited, critical services via phone, mail, and online.
  • Beware of scammers who are trying to trick you into thinking the pandemic is stopping your payments. It is NOT true! Don’t be fooled!

To stay up-to-date on official announcements during the COVID-19 pandemic, the SSA advises accessing ssa.gov/coronavirus and following their Twitter feed at @SSAPress. Likewise, they suggest following IRS announcements at irs.gov/coronavirus to stay current on official announcements.

Finally, please know that the AMAC Foundation’s Social Security Advisory Service continues in normal operation during this fast-moving crisis, accepting telephone (888-750-2622) and email (SSAdvisor@amacfoundation.org) inquiries. To learn more about this free service, click here…

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Comments On This Topic

  1. Alot of beneficiaries receive their money from Soc. Sec. on a debit card. Why cant the stimulas payment be made that way? Would be easier on all especially the Postal Service

    • Gerald:

      The most recent statements we’ve seen indicate that the stimulus payments will be deposited the same way as your social security benefits are deposited. From that, and absent a definitive statement from IRS or SSA, we would conclude that yes, your payment will be added to your Direct Express card. Watch this website for any specific announcements regarding the use of Direct Express for delivery of stimulus payments.

      Gerry Hafer
      AMAC Foundation, Inc.

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