NOTE: As of April 15, 2029, the Social Security Administration and the IRS clarified the status of Stimulus Checks and SSI-recipients. For those receiving SSI benefits only, apparently NO ACTION IS REQUIRED. PAYMENTS WILL BE AUTOMATIC. If a consumer receives SSI benefits electronically, the individual will receive an electronic Stimulus Check. If the person receives a physical check for his/her benefits, likewise, the Stimulus Check will come in the mail.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will be receiving Economic Impact Payments of $1,200 each; this is also known as the Stimulus Check. The U.S. Treasury indicated that these payments will start going out to U.S. residents that qualify for them on April 20, 2020. While some payments may be immediate, the roll-out of these payments are expected to take weeks and perhaps even months.
The payment will be sent via direct deposit or check, predicated on how an individual filed their 2019 or 2018 tax return. The Treasury has said the payments will be received quicker by direct deposit. In the upcoming weeks, the Treasury is planning to develop a web-based portal that will allow people to provide their banking information to the IRS online so that they can receive their payments immediately. However, the IRS has said little about how this will work.
For SSI recipients, many who qualify for the stimulus check do not file tax returns. There is uncertainty how the IRS gets the information for these recipients and how the checks will be conveyed. Below is a current screen grab from the SSA website on this topic specifically.
While the good news is that SSI recipients will get a stimulus check, questions arise as to timing, conveyance, and whether anything additional needs to be filed with the IRS. While it may be prudent for family members and guardians to quickly file a 2019 tax return immediately, it may be difficult for providers to do so. That is to say, filing multiple tax returns for SSI recipients in their care. Further, that action may not be necessary since we are still awaiting guidance from the IRS.
We surmise that the IRS could issue a truncated 2019 tax form to SSI recipients in the near future to gather this information and then issue the checks. Of course, that may not be necessary if the SSA could convey the information to the IRS. Nonetheless, both of those suggestions are guesses.
Since our providers are under a great deal of pressure and beset by internal challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not recommending any action until the IRS issues guidance regarding SSI recipients. Many of our providers have dozens if not hundreds of individuals in their care and it would be best to have a clear direction from the IRS before any action should be taken.
It is noted that for those receiving SSDI; the government will send the stimulus payment automatically. There is no question regarding filing or re-filing tax returns since the SSA issues a 1099-SSA to the IRS every year.