Stimulus Checks: Key Dates Seniors Need to Know

Millions of Americans are still waiting for their stimulus checks to help offset the economic turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic, including many senior citizens. In lots of cases, seniors are in highly specific groups when it comes to their checks, as they may be retired, collecting different kinds of benefits or accepting social security income. There are a few key dates in the stimulus check time line that seniors should be aware of.

For most Americans, if they are eligible for a stimulus check, it will simply come, with no action required on their part. The money is being distributed by the IRS, in the same way that 2018 and 2019 tax returns were doled out, so those with a gross annual income of $99,000 or less have either gotten a direct deposit or have a check on the way. However, seniors living off of Social Security or Supplement Security Income are still eligible for the check, though they may not have filed a tax return in the last two years. They will need to take some action by May 5 to get their money.

The Treasury Department has set May 5 as the deadline for those who have not filed a tax return in the last two years to get credit for a dependent added to their stimulus check. This means that Supplement Security Income or Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who have a child aged 16 or under must fill out the IRS' non-filers form by Tuesday to get an additional $500 added to their check. The non-filers form can be filled out on the IRS website. It is also used for those Americans who are not required to file taxes for one reason or another, yet are still eligible for a stimulus check.

Other important dates to keep in mind concern when exactly a payment might arrive. According to the IRS, people who filled out the non-filers form with direct deposit information began to receive their stimulus checks on April 29. It will take a while for all of these payments to go out, but the IRS said that direct deposits would be finished within a few days, and paper checks would follow in "early May."

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Paper checks are expected to take at least 14 days to reach non-filers by mail. Millions of Americans are still waiting for their stimulus check — particularly those who are getting it by mail. According to the IRS, a little more than half of the payments have now reached their intended recipients, with millions more to go.

For all the information on Economic Impact Payments, visit the IRS' Get My Payment website. For the latest information on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the websites of the CDC and the World Health Organization.