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On Social Security? You Must File Your Taxes Within 3 Days to Get a Stimulus Check.

Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden speaking with attendees at the 2020 Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) Legislative Conference at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel in West Des Moines, Iowa. Credit: Gage Skidmore.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department recently announced that roughly a million more coronavirus stimulus checks have been issued as part of the ninth batch of payments under the American Rescue Plan.

And to date, with this newest batch, the total figure now sits at approximately one hundred sixty-five million—with a value of $388 billion.

However, even with these lofty numbers, there appear to be plenty of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries who have been relegated to the sidelines while others have enjoyed their newest cash windfall.

For individuals who fit into this unfortunate category, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has for weeks pressed these folks to file a tax return as soon as possible in order to get the funds. This should be completed even if they didn’t have any earned income in 2020.

Make sure to keep in mind that the Tax Day deadline for this year has been extended to May 17—just days away.

The IRS is also urging Social Security beneficiaries and anyone else to quickly file a tax return before the deadline.

“Although payments are automatic for most people, the IRS continues to urge people who don’t normally file a tax return and haven’t received Economic Impact Payments to file a 2020 tax return to get all the benefits they’re entitled to under the law, including tax credits such as the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Filing a 2020 tax return will also assist the IRS in determining whether someone is eligible for an advance payment of the 2021 Child Tax Credit, which will begin to be disbursed this summer,” the IRS said.

“For example, some federal benefits recipients may need to file a 2020 tax return—even if they don’t usually file—to provide information the IRS needs to send payments for a qualifying dependent. Eligible individuals in this group should file a 2020 tax return as quickly as possible to be considered for an additional payment for their qualifying dependents,” the agency added.

In addition, know that there is a way for federal beneficiaries to claim either or both of the missing first two stimulus payments—but this should also be done before the Tax Day deadline.

The IRS has reminded those affected that for this tax season, a Recovery Rebate Credit has been added to all returns—line thirty of Forms 1040 or 1040-SR for seniors—so that these individuals can eventually receive the overdue payments.

“If you didn’t get any payments or got less than the full amounts, you may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return to claim the credit even if you don’t normally file,” the IRS website says.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

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Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV.

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