Millions of Americans recently woke up to an additional 1,200 dollars in their bank accounts, as the first batch of stimulus checks approved under the congressional CARES Act were rolled out in April.
Many who have not yet received checks are left wondering if they will be able to count on the cash infusion if they also take part in government assistance programs like Social Security Disability.
The short answer is yes. CARES Act relief funds were designed to offer immediate financial assistance to individuals and families struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, including Social Security Disability recipients.
Citizens who file their federal income taxes electronically and opt to have refunds issued via direct deposit will find their stimulus checks have already been deposited into their accounts. Conversely, those who file by mail or choose to receive their tax refunds via paper check should find relief checks in their mailboxes soon.
For SSDI recipients who do not routinely file incomes taxes, relief checks will be automatically deposited using the same method as his or her monthly SSDI benefit payment. If someone usually receives Social Security checks by mail, for example, he or she will also receive the stimulus by mail.
Whether or not a person receives government assistance has no bearing on the allocation of these stimulus funds. Below is an official statement on how funds are distributed, courtesy of the U.S. Department of the Treasury:
“The CARES Act provides Economic Impact Payments to American households of up to $1,200 per adult for individuals whose income was less than $99,000 (or $198,000 for joint filers) and $500 per child under 17 years old—or up to $3,400 for a family of four.”
Note: Adults between the ages of 18 and 26 who are listed as dependents by their parents or legal guardians may not be entitled to direct stimulus benefits.
Where Is My Stimulus Check?
If you have not received your stimulus check, it could be due to a variety of reasons. Outlined below are some of the most common scenarios:
- Your payment has been delayed due to high demand. The IRS has the ability to produce five million paper checks per week. With the number of economic relief recipients slated to be in the hundreds of millions, it could be several weeks before everyone is covered.
- You did not file taxes in 2018 or 2019. In this case, you should visit the IRS’ dedicated webpage for non-filers and supply your up-to-date banking and address records so they know where to send your payment.
- You used tax-filing software. The government may have had issues accessing your direct deposit information, or your banking details were not shared by the filing service.
- A creditor may be trying to collect on debts. If you have been receiving collections notices in the mail, or if you are fielding collections calls from creditors, it may be a sign that your stimulus check is being withheld to offset the balance of your debt.
- You are undergoing a divorce or are recently divorced. Before you receive your stimulus check, the government needs to know how many people are in your household. If that information has recently changed, or will soon change, your benefit may be delayed.
If you have not received your economic impact check, you can contact the IRS to submit an official request for payment, update incorrect or missing personal information, and provide anonymous feedback about your experience: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.
Don’t Fall For Stimulus Check Scams
Unfortunately, the current global economic crisis has not hampered criminals’ efforts to take advantage of vulnerable people. The IRS is warning consumers that coronavirus-related scams could take the form of suspicious phone calls or phishing attempts online or via email. The IRS will not contact you in these ways; the agency typically corresponds with tax filers by way of official mail.
One indicator that some correspondence could be a scam is the frequent or repeated use of the term “stimulus check.” The official term used by both the IRS and Treasury Department is economic impact payment.
Taxpayers who receive suspicious emails, phone calls, or text messages wherein a person or company attempts to impersonate a government agent or agency, or attempts to gather sensitive personal information, should forward copies of these communications to [email protected].
Citizens are encouraged not to engage with potential scammers online or over the phone. To learn more about reporting these types of scams, visit the IRS’ dedicated webpage on phishing attacks.