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Social Security beneficiaries urged to file tax returns to get missing stimulus checks

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Key Points
  • Most Social Security or Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries should have received their stimulus checks by now, the Social Security Administration said this week.
  • If you're still waiting on money from the first or second checks, you should file a return as soon as possible, the agency said.
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If you receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits and are still waiting on a stimulus check, you should file a tax return as soon as possible in order to get your money, the Social Security Administration said.

The announcement pertains to the first $1,200 and second $600 economic impact payments that were approved by Congress last year. Even if you have no income, you should file a return if you are missing those checks, the Social Security Administration said.

Filing a tax return can also help the IRS process the third $1,400 checks the government is still sending out.

"Most Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients should have received their [economic impact payments] by now," the Social Security Administration said in its announcement.

Meanwhile, a recovery rebate credit has been added to this year's return — line 30 of Forms 1040 or 1040-SR for seniors — in order to let people claim any missing funds from the first two stimulus checks.

Once a return is processed, that will prompt the IRS to send out those payments, the Social Security Administration said.

As the tax agency processes returns, it is also sending out new $1,400 stimulus checks to anyone it did not previously have on record, as well as "plus-up" payments to anyone who did not receive the full payment to which they are entitled.

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The refund will include any missing money from the first or second stimulus checks, the Social Security Administration said. The third stimulus checks, however, will be sent separately.

If you have already filed a 2020 tax return, you do not need to take action, the government agency said.

The IRS has encouraged federal beneficiaries to submit their information in order to make sure eligible dependents are counted in their payments.

Getting stimulus checks to federal beneficiaries has been an ongoing effort since the government approved the first payments last year.

In March, the Social Security Administration sent information to the IRS to help get the third $1,400 stimulus checks to almost 30 million people.

Once that transfer happened, the IRS issued automatic payments to most Social Security beneficiaries in early April, according to Dan Adcock, director of government relations and policy at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

Most of those payments were made electronically by direct deposit. However, because some of the checks were sent by mail, that could have caused some delays.

"While the National Committee has not received many complaints, there have been some which may suggest a lingering problem," Adcock said in a statement.