Tax guide

Government Benefits and Your Stimulus Payments

Updated for filing 2021 returns

How do EIPs work for those with government benefits?

If you collect certain government benefits but didn’t file in 2018 or 2019 because you are usually not required to file, the IRS coordinates with the appropriate organization to know where to send your Economic Impact Payments (including EIP1, EIP2, and EIP3). This group includes:

  • Social Security recipients
  • Railroad Retirement recipients
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients
  • Veterans Affairs (VA) benefit recipients
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients

Your EIPs are delivered the same way you would normally receive your benefits, either through direct deposit or by paper check.

How do those with government benefits get the additional $500 (EIP1), $600 (EIP2), or $1,400 (EIP3) per child?

For EIP1, claim the missing $500 amount via the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 tax return. For EIP2, your additional $600 should arrive with your stimulus payment—if not, claim the missing amount via the RRC.

For EIP3, the additional amount per dependent should arrive with your stimulus payment. The additional amount isn’t limited to child dependents—adult dependents qualify too. Any missing amounts are available for you to claim on your 2021 RRC, since EIP3 was established in 2021.

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