In order to be eligible for the Economic Impact Payment, you need to meet three conditions (1) have a valid Social Security number (2) not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and (3) had adjusted gross income under certain limits. Below is a link to the IRS webpage with the latest information on the Economic Impact Payment.
You do not have to be earning income as an employee of a company or from any other source in addition to your Social Security payment. However, if you are listed as a dependent on someone else’s federal tax return you may not be eligible.
The IRS is issuing payments to most taxpayers automatically using information from their 2019 or 2018 tax return. If beneficiaries didn’t file a tax return for tax years 2018 or 2019, the IRS is issuing $1,200 automatic payments using information from partner federal agencies for individuals receiving Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and VA Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefits. For individuals who are not required to file a tax return for tax years 2018 or 2019, and do not qualify for an automatic payment, the IRS is using the information an individual provides on the special Non-Filers tool on IRS.gov to issue a payment.
The following groups will automatically receive their Economic Impact Payments. (1) People who filed federal income tax for 2018 or 2019 and (2) Individuals who receive benefits from the Social Security Administration including SSI and SSDI.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) issued an update June 1, 2020 to beneficiaries who have their regular monthly payments managed for them by another person, called a Representative Payee (RP). RPs started receiving Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) from the IRS on May 28.
Note: Special rules apply to beneficiaries living in the U.S. territories: American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In general, the tax authority in each territory, not the IRS, will pay the EIP to eligible residents based on information the IRS will provide to the territories. It is anticipated that beneficiaries in the territories could begin receiving their EIP in early June.
If you filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return: Your $1,200 EIP was or will be sent to the bank account provided on your tax return for an electronic tax refund, or mailed to the address provided on your tax return if a tax refund was mailed or if there was no refund.
If you did not file a 2019 or 2018 tax return:
- An Individual RP should receive the EIP on or after May 28 to the same direct deposit account or Direct Express card as the recipient’s monthly Social Security or SSI payment. The mailing of paper check EIPs to RPs began May 27.
- For an Organizational RP, the schedule above is the same, except that the payee may receive the EIP electronically or by paper check in the mail.
Typically, check payments to RPs are clearly designated. For example, “Susan Smith for” on the first line of the check and the second line of the check displays the beneficiary’s name. For EIP checks, there may be instances where the RPs name on the first line of the check is condensed, or missing the “for” designation, or the “for” designation could appear twice. These differences should not prevent financial institutions and check cashers from processing the check.
Most nursing facility residents will receive Economic Impact Payments of up to $1,200. Even if Medicaid pays for your care and services at the facility, the payment belongs to you and not the nursing facility and you may use these funds in whatever way you choose.
No. According to the CARES Act, the Economic Impact Payment is considered a tax credit and it does not count as a “resource” for federal benefit programs like Medicaid, for up to 12 months. The payment is yours to spend on your wants and needs, any way you choose.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received reports of nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout the country claiming that Economic Impact Payments count as “resources” under the rules of federal benefit programs and must be used to pay for services. The FTC encourages consumers to check with loved ones who receive Medicaid and live in these facilities, and if they are experiencing this issue, to file a complaint with their state attorney general and report it to the FTC.
This fact sheet on EIPs and Nursing Facilities and issues related to payments being seized (including where advocates can report issues) is now available on the CCD website.
If you qualify for an Economic Impact Payment, you might receive your money on a prepaid VISA debit card, issued by MetaBank, through the mail. The Economic Impact Card will come in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services” along with important information about the card, instructions for activation, fees and a note from the U.S. Treasury. If you receive such a card in the mail, do not throw it away. You will need it to access your Economic Impact Payment.
The National Consumer Law Center compiled a fact sheet on the prepaid cards, including information on how to access the money, use the card and avoid fees. It also includes information on what to do if the card was thrown out.
The Economic Impact Payment is considered an advance credit against 2020 taxes. Taxpayers will not include the payment in taxable income on their 2020 tax return or pay income tax on the payment. It will not reduce a taxpayer’s refund or increase the amount of tax a taxpayer owes when the taxpayer files a 2020 federal income tax return next year.
Individuals should keep the letter they will receive by mail for their tax records. The letter should arrive approximately three weeks after the IRS issues the payment. When a taxpayer files a 2020 tax return next year, the taxpayer may claim any additional credit for which the taxpayer is eligible. The IRS is not able to correct or issue an additional payment at this time and will provide further details on IRS.gov on the action individuals may need to take in the future. See the Economic Impact Payment Information Center for questions and answers about eligibility, payment amounts, what to expect and when to expect it.
Individuals are also encouraged to review “Calculating the Economic Impact Payment” provided on the IRS website to review more detailed information on eligibility, income limits and eligibility amounts.
Millions of eligible individuals have already received their Economic Impact Payments. Some people, including those who received a payment for a deceased individual, may be unsure whether they should return a payment. The IRS has posted instructions for payments that were issued, cashed and deposited, not cashed or deposited and what to do if the payment was mailed to someone who has died.
The IRS has issued updated guidance regarding the opportunity for non-tax filers to request their unclaimed Economic Impact Payment. You may use the IRS Non-Filers Payment Info tool through October 15, 2020 to provide simple information to receive your payment. This resource will also provide you with information on eligibility.
View More Resources
The Financial Resilience Center was developed by National Disability Institute with generous funding from the Wells Fargo Foundation.