SS recipients have until noon Wednesday to apply online for $500 benefit for dependent child(ren) to get paid now

If you’re one of these American taxpayers, you have until noon Wednesday to file for a $500-per-child stimulus check

Social Security and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries who don’t file tax returns have a tight deadline to claim their payment — or risk waiting until next year for the funds.

USA dollar cash bank note stimulus economic tax return check with U.S. flag. (iStock)
USA dollar cash bank note stimulus economic tax return check with U.S. flag. (iStock)

By Michelle Singletary April 20, 2020 at 6:55 p.m. EDT

Individuals receiving Social Security, survivor or disability, and Railroad Retirement benefits have a very short window — 12 p.m. Wednesday — to use an online tool to receive the $500 stimulus payment per dependent child, the Internal Revenue Service announced Monday.

Those who miss the deadline to register their children with the new non-filer tool at will still get their payments of $1,200 per individual, but they will have to wait until next year to get the additional $500 per dependent child under 17, the IRS said.

The 12 p.m. Wednesday deadline only applies to certain individuals who were not required to file a 2018 or 2019 tax return but have dependent children under the age of 17 who qualify for the additional $500 stimulus payment.

Because some people receiving Social Security, survivor or disability, and Railroad Retirement are not required to file tax returns, the IRS has no way of knowing they have qualifying dependent children — unless they use the non-filer tool.AD

The agency said it was rushing to include the additional $500 for dependents with the $1,200 payments for benefit recipients that are going out soon. Once a stimulus payment has been issued, you cannot use the non-filer tool to add eligible children, the IRS said.

The stimulus payment is technically an advance credit for 2020 tax returns. So people who miss the Wednesday deadline will still get the money for dependent children but not until next year when they file a return.

People who are not required to file a federal return because they earned under $12,200 as an individual or $24,400 as a married couple last year are advised to use the non-filer tool.

The portal also allows them to provide the IRS with direct deposit information, which will reduce the time it takes to receive their money. Otherwise, the agency will send out a check. The tool is not meant for people who will be filing a 2019 return.

Another group of federal beneficiaries should also act fast, according to the new guidance. People who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Administration benefits and aren’t required to file a tax return will also have to use the non-filer tool to let the IRS know about any dependent children to receive the $500 stimulus payment per child.

SSI recipients will receive their automatic payments in early May, the IRS said. The agency said the payment schedule for veterans who receive Compensation and Pension is still being determined. However, given all the uncertainly about the timing of payments, the IRS suggested that it’s best to enter any dependent information now.

“For those who get SSI and vets benefits, there’s a little more time, but sooner is better, said IRS spokesman Eric Smith. “Otherwise, you can get it at the end of the year on your 2020 tax return.”AD

Those people who fall into any of these groups of beneficiaries — Social Security, survivor or disability, Railroad Retirement benefits, SSI or veterans — and do not have dependent children should receive their $1,200 automatically by direct deposit, Direct Express debit card or check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.

Monday’s announcement was the latest in a number of glitches and miscommunications surrounding the IRS stimulus payments.

While tens of millions of Americans started receiving their payments by direct deposit on April 15, many others have complained that they received the wrong amount, the money was sent to their tax preparers account, or that they had trouble accessing another IRS online portal, “Get My Payments,” which was supposed to help people track their payments and input direct deposit information.AD

Several million people who filed their taxes via H&R Block, TurboTax and other tax preparer services were unable to get their payments because the IRS did not have their direct deposit information on file, according to the Treasury, companies and experts.

Some parents received a $1,200 payment for a single head of household or a $2,400 check for a married couple but did not receive the $500-per-child-under-17 payments.

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