Personal Finance

Receiving SSI benefits? You will get your coronavirus stimulus payment automatically, government says

Key Points
  • The government announced on Wednesday that individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, will automatically receive their coronavirus stimulus payments.
  • The funds will come via the same method you receive your money each month, either through direct deposit, debit card or paper check.
  • If you have qualifying dependents, you should use the government web portal to make sure they are also counted in those payments.
Blank Social Security checks are run through a printer at the U.S. Treasury printing facility February 11, 2005 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
William Thomas Cain | Getty Images

If you're receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits, you will get your coronavirus stimulus payment automatically, the government said on Wednesday.

The payments will come the same way you typically receive your benefit payments, either by direct deposit, a Direct Express debit card or paper check.

"SSI recipients will receive these automatic payments no later than early May," the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The announcement clears up confusion for individuals who rely on these benefits, who are generally elderly, disabled or blind, and have little to no taxable income.

The government had previously said Social Security beneficiaries will not have to do anything to receive their stimulus payments. But SSI recipients do not fall in that group, nor do they typically file tax returns, which led many to fear they would have to register in order to receive the money.

"SSI recipients with no qualifying children do not need to take any action in order to receive their $1,200 economic impact payment. The payments will be automatic," Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement.

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There were approximately 8 million SSI beneficiaries in the U.S. as of March, according to data from the Social Security Administration. 

If you are on SSI and do have qualifying dependents (children under 17), you are encouraged to use the government's web portal to ensure you get your $500 payments.

"If SSI beneficiaries in this group do not provide their information to the IRS soon, they will have to wait until later to receive their $500 per qualifying child," the government said.

In order to use the web portal, you will need to have the full names and Social Security numbers for yourself, your spouse and your dependents. You also need to provide your mailing address and bank information (account type and account and routing numbers).

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Be aware that not everyone qualifies for a stimulus payment.

Other individuals who will also receive their stimulus payments automatically include those receiving Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits, as well as Railroad Retirement benefits.

You need to have a valid Social Security number. You also must meet certain income requirements.

If you earn up to $75,000 as an individual, $112,500 as head of household or $150,000 as a married couple filing jointly, you are eligible for the full amount.

However, payments are reduced above those levels and phase out completely if your adjusted gross income is more than $99,000 for individuals, $136,500 for head of household and $198,000 for married filing jointly.