You may be aware that distribution of COVID-19 “stimulus checks” has begun for individuals who filed income tax returns in 2018 and 2019. Many Social Security recipients file income tax returns and will be included in the first wave of recipients without additional action on their part. For other Social Security beneficiaries, the following information may be helpful/important:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Recipients With Dependent Children: typically, SSI recipients do not file income tax returns; however, they are still entitled to stimulus payments. The U.S. Treasury will use SSA-1099 information to identify these individuals. SSI recipients with dependent children will need to provide information about their eligible children in order to receive an additional $500 per dependent child. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has not provided a deadline for reporting this information as of the date of this posting.
- Social Security Retirement/Survivor’s Benefits Recipients, Social Security Disability Recipients, and Railroad Retirement Benefits Recipients With Dependent Children: if you receive one of these benefits and did not file an income tax return in 2018/2019, the deadline to add $500 per eligible dependent child to your stimulus check was April 22, 2020. That said, you may still be eligible to receive the payment if you file a 2020 income tax return and include the necessary information about your dependent child(ren).
- Income and Resource Limitations for SSI and Medicaid Recipients: the stimulus checks WILL NOT be counted as income for SSI purposes, and will not be counted as a resource to the recipient for 12 months from the date of receipt. This is the SSI policy, and state Medicaid regulations cannot be more restrictive than the SSI regulations, so this rule will apply for SSI-based Florida Medicaid eligibility purposes as well.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis is a great opportunity for scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting Medicare beneficiaries. As a result, Social Security recipients who have Medicare as their primary health insurance should be on the lookout for Medicare scams. Remember: Medicare representatives will never call to obtain or verify your Medicare number; call to sell you anything; promise you anything in return for your Medicare number or other personal information (such as your Social Security number or banking information); or call to enroll you in a Medicare program unless you called Medicare first. If you suspect fraud, call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 to report the incident.
The current Social Security Commissioner has been making relatively regular blog posts to address questions related to COVID-1 stimulus checks and other SSA matters. For more information, visit WWW.SOCIALSECURITY.GOV or WWW.IRS.GOV, or the Commissioner’s blog at: