SSDI, SSI, stimulus checks: Details on the second payment, make-up claim and more

Laveta Brigham

If a new bill passes and you’re part of the SSI or SSDI programs, you’ll likely be eligible for a second stimulus check. Angela Lang/CNET If you receive Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance, there’s a good chance that you are eligible to get paid in the just-approved […]


If a new bill passes and you’re part of the SSI or SSDI programs, you’ll likely be eligible for a second stimulus check.

Angela Lang/CNET

If you receive Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance, there’s a good chance that you are eligible to get paid in the just-approved second round of stimulus payments, which the IRS has just started to send out.

Currently, the checks are worth a maximum of $600 per adult and per qualifying child, and while there’s still a call from some lawmakers to raise the maximum payment to $2,000, the bill that Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law on Sunday would need to be amended for that to happen. A third stimulus payment in 2021 is more likely.

Read on for everything we know about SSDI, SSI and stimulus payments. We regularly update this story.

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Next stimulus checks: What to expect


SSDI, SSI recipients should receive a second stimulus check

The question of who will qualify for a second stimulus payment has largely remained the same as the first round back in March with the CARES Act. That means if you’re part of the SSI or SSDI program you would qualify for a check, just like you did in the first round, so long as you have a Social Security number and you are not claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. Your household income must also not exceed the threshold (which is $75,000 single, $112,500 head of household and $150,000 married). 

Read More: This time around, your stimulus check cannot legally be taken away.

What do you have to do to get the second payment?

According to the IRS, those who receive Social Security retirement, SSDI, Railroad Retirement benefits and Supplemental Security Income as well as Veterans Affairs beneficiaries are automatically eligible for a payment. The IRS said payments will start going out this week and continue through the middle of January.

Is it too late if you missed the deadline to file a claim for the first stimulus check?

If you receive SSI or SSDI but still haven’t gotten a stimulus check from the first round, the IRS may still need more information about your eligibility. To have received your money this year, the IRS set a Nov. 21 deadline to provide your information. If you missed that date, you’ll be able to claim the additional amount when you file a 2020 tax return in 2021. This will be called the Recovery Rebate Credit.

The IRS said it will provide more details on what action to take as we get closer to the filing deadline in 2021.

What if you didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019?

If you receive federal benefits, including SSI and SSDI, as your only form of income, you weren’t required to file a federal income tax return in 2018 or 2019. Under the CARES Act, you were still eligible to receive a stimulus check, and should have received one automatically (no need to file a simple tax return, as the IRS had originally said).

Exactly how will the stimulus money get to you?

Most SSI and SSDI recipients didn’t receive their first payments via their Direct Express card, though this is usually what the government uses to distribute federal benefits. Instead, the payment arrived through a non-Direct Express bank account or as a paper check if you didn’t have your bank account information on file with the IRS. 

This time around, the IRS says on its website that SSI and SSDI recipients should expect to get their stimulus check money the same way they receive their federal benefits, possibly faster, as the IRS already has the payment system set up.

How to know if your children are eligible for the second stimulus check

Under the CARES Act, qualified people with dependents age 16 or younger were eligible for up to $500 per child dependent. But not everyone with eligible dependents actually received that extra money. The last day to claim your missing payment and receive it this year was Nov. 21. The IRS said if you missed the deadline you can claim the missing payment when you file taxes in 2021.

The rules for who qualifies as a child dependent are pretty much the same again for the second stimulus check, but you can use our stimulus check calculator to figure your family’s total check amount.

(Find out who counts as a qualifying dependent in terms of stimulus payments and how old you have to be to count as an adult and receive your own stimulus check.)


If you’re missing stimulus money for yourself or your dependents, use the online IRS Non-Filers tool to make sure you get it.

Angela Lang/CNET

When could you get your missing stimulus money?

If your first payment didn’t come already and you registered with the Non-Filers tool by Nov. 21, the IRS says you’ll receive the payment by the end of 2020. If you missed the Nov. 21 cutoff, the IRS said you can receive your payment in 2021 when you file your federal tax returns.

To track the status of your payment, use the IRS Get My Payment tool, which the IRS said it will relaunch later this week with information on the second check, as well as the first.

When will you get the make-up money for dependents?

If you used the IRS’ Non-Filers tool from May 5 through Aug. 15, the IRS should have automatically issued the catch-up payment for your dependents in October. If you received your original stimulus money by direct deposit, you should have gotten the catch-up payment the same way. Others should have received it in the mail. 

If you filed for your missing dependent money by Nov. 21, the payment should arrive by the end of 2020, in the same way that you received your first payment (likely direct deposit or by mail). If you missed the deadline, your check will be included on your 2020 tax return in 2021. 

To check the status of your or your dependent’s payment, use the IRS’ Get My Payment tool to track it. You should also get a notice in the mail letting you know that an additional $500 per qualifying child has been issued. 

What stimulus payments mean for SSI and SSDI recipients who live outside the US

If you are a Social Security beneficiary with a foreign address whose monthly benefit is deposited into a foreign bank account, you’ll receive your stimulus payment as a check in the mail (the IRS doesn’t deposit money into foreign banks). The IRS planned to start sending those checks at the end of July. If you live abroad but receive your monthly benefits through a US bank, you should have received your payment by direct deposit to that account by the end of July as well. Find out everything you need to know about stimulus checks, citizenship and living abroad here.

Again, you can use the Get My Payment tool to track your payment. 

For more information, find out if you’re qualified for a second stimulus check and when you could expect a second stimulus check. If you still haven’t gotten a first stimulus check, you can track the status of your stimulus check, learn how to report your missing check to the IRS and find possible reasons why your stimulus check still hasn’t arrived.

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