SSI, SSDI, stimulus checks: What to know about a second payment, catch-up claim and more


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 benefits through the US government’s Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance programs, you likely would also qualify for a second stimulus check, if Congress passes one as part of a larger coronavirus economic relief package. Depending on how a final bill shapes up, you could potentially get more money in a direct payment than you did the first time around if certain qualifications change, or perhaps less

Congress returned to Washington on Monday, and negotiators may restart talks about another package and the check that could come with it this week. However, if a bill does pass, there’s a chance it will not include a second stimulus check. Or, one could pass in 2021, after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Biden has said he supports a second check, but there may be limits to his influence over Congress.

If you were eligible for the first stimulus payment but never received it, we’ve got instructions on how to claim that money in 2021, as well as catch-up payments if you didn’t get the full amount for you and your child dependents.

Here’s everything we know so far about stimulus checks, SSI and SSDI. 

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Next stimulus checks: What to expect


SSDI and SSI recipients could get a second stimulus check

Until Congress completes a bill, we won’t know exactly who will qualify for a second stimulus payment. But based on the proposed bills we’ve seen so far, we expect qualifications to largely remain the same as they were in the March CARES Act. That means if you’re part of the SSI or SSDI program you would qualify for a check, as 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). 

Here are two reasons why a stimulus check might legally be taken away.

If you missed the Nov. 21 deadline to file a claim for the first check, is it too late?

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 get your money this year, the IRS set a Nov. 21 deadline to provide your information. If you missed it, 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 for 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).

How will your stimulus payment arrive?

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. It’s likely that if a second check is approved it would arrive the same way the first one did, but possibly faster, as the IRS already has the payment system set up. 

How to know if your children qualified for the first 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 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.

(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 your missing stimulus check arrive?

If your 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. 

When will your catch-up money for dependents arrive?

If you used the 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 file 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 miss 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. 

SSI or SSDI recipients who live outside the US: What stimulus means for you

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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