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What You Need to Know about Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) and Eligibility

NDI Financial Resilience Center

Economic Impact Payments: What You Need to Know

What You Need to Know about Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) and Eligibility

 

The CARES Act provided direct financial assistance to millions of Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs), commonly known as stimulus payments. However, due to a variety of reasons, including complex eligibility criteria and distribution processes, there are still millions of Americans that have yet to receive their payments.

This newsletter will answer some frequently asked questions about EIPs, including what to do if you have not yet received your EIP and who to contact for help.

Who Qualifies for an EIP?

Many people think they can’t get an Economic Impact Payment or believe they have to file a federal tax return to be eligible, but that is not true. Anyone is able to receive an EIP if they are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or qualifying resident non-citizen who:

  • Has a valid, work-eligible Social Security number,
  • Cannot be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and
  • Has adjusted gross income under certain limits.

An Economic Impact Payment can provide individuals and families with security, stability and relief during the pandemic. Several of our partnering organizations are working hard to help individuals determine the best method of providing their information to the IRS in order to receive their payment.

Have the deadlines passed?

Individuals still have time to access their Economic Impact Payments. The deadline is October 15 to use the EIP Non-Filers tool to receive a payment this year.

Additionally, IRS reopened the registration period for federal beneficiaries who didn’t receive $500 dependent payments earlier this year. The IRS urges certain federal benefit recipients to use the IRS.gov Non-Filers tool starting Aug. 15 through Sept. 30 to enter information on their qualifying children to receive the supplemental $500 payments. The previous deadline for individuals to file in this category was May 5; it is now available through Sept. 30.

Those eligible to provide this information include people with qualifying children who receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement benefits and Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefits and did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019. The IRS anticipates the catch-up payments, equal to $500 per eligible child, will be issued by mid-October.

Used the Non-Filers tool after May 5? No action needed.

For those Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Department of Veterans Affairs and Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries who have already used the Non-Filers tool to provide information on children, no further action is needed. The IRS will automatically make a payment in October.

Where to go for help?

If you are not sure if you or someone you know is eligible for an EIP, have questions, want help completing the IRS forms, or even completing your tax returns, please reach out to one of the following organizations, online or by phone, to get help.

ADDITIONAL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Am I eligible for an Economic Impact Payment if I receive SSI or SSDI and do not have other income?

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.

Does the Economic Impact Payment affect Social Security benefit payments (SSI or SSDI)?

The Economic Impact Payment is not considered income, so it will not impact eligibility for SSI or SSDI. It is not considered a resource for 12 months so it will not impact the amount of your SSI benefit.

 

If my Social Security Administration (SSA) representative payee receives my Economic Impact Payment, are they required to turn over the entire amount to me?

On May 1, 2020, SSA confirmed that an Economic Impact Payment is not subject to Representative Payee (RP) oversight because an RP is only responsible for managing SSA or SSI benefits. If you receive an EIP, the RP is required to turn the EIP over to you. An RP should discuss the EIP with you and, if you want to use it independently, the RP should provide it to you. Outside of their role as an RP, they can help you to use your Economic Impact Payment in a specific manner or save it for you if that is your choice.

Learn more about Economic Impact Payments and other COVID-19 resources for people with disabilities:

 

Visit the Financial Resilience Center

Looking for more resources? View our recent webinar archive: 
Pathways to Financial Health and Resilience During COVID-19

The Financial Resilience Center was developed by National Disability Institute with generous funding from the Wells Fargo Foundation.