Stimulus Checks: Why Didn't My Child Receive a Payment

The CARES Act signed into law in late March includes the $1,200 stimulus check that millions of Americans received in mid-April. The check is supposed to also include $500 for dependents under 17 years of age. However, some taxpayers are not seeing it due to specific circumstances.

Taxpayers who included a child under 17 as a dependent on their 2018 or 2019 tax filings should receive the $500 per dependent added to their stimulus check. However, if your child was not included in those tax filings, possibly because someone else listed them as a dependent or you welcomed a child after filing, the $500 will not be on the check, notes CBS News. If you believe you are entitled to more because you have a child, you can claim the extra amount on your 2020 tax return.

For some, the $500 is not automatically added. If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and did not need to file a 2018 or 2019 tax return, you had until Tuesday, May 5 to use the IRS' non-filer tool to apply for $500 for a dependent. Social Security and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries only had until April 22 to register for the $500 per dependent. This deadline received bipartisan criticism, as Sens. Maggie Hassan, Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, Krysten Sinema, Bill Cassidy and Michael Bennet sent a letter to the IRS and Treasury Department to seek an extension since Social Security and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries were only told about the deadline two days before it arrived.

"Given the short timeline and limited outreach, we ask you to explore all available options for allowing non-filing Social Security and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries with dependents who missed the April 22nd deadline to receive the additional $500 per qualified dependent without having to wait until next year," the senators wrote on April 24. "We also urge you to work with stakeholders to engage in immediate, targeted outreach to those federal benefit recipients with dependents who have not filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and ask that you consider options for a non-web-based alternative to the online non-filer portal."

The IRS's reminder to SSI and VA beneficiaries about the May 5 deadline only came on Friday, May 1. "Their $1,200 payments will be issued soon and, in order to add the $500 per eligible child amount to these payments, the IRS needs the dependent information before the payments are issued," the agency explained. "Otherwise, their payment at this time will be $1,200 and, by law, the additional $500 per eligible child amount will be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020."