Update, 9:31 p.m: The Treasury Department announced on Wednesday evening that Social Security recipients who don't normally file tax returns will now automatically get the $1,200 payment.
President Donald Trump on Friday signed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill to financially support Americans in a time of uncertainty. The decision has resulted in many people on Social Security wondering if they’re also eligible to receive the $1,200 cash payment that millions of other Americans are expecting to get from the government.
The short answer is yes, according to MSNBC anchor and NBC senior business correspondent Stephanie Ruhle. There’s no specific form to sign or fill out. But if you didn’t file your taxes in 2018, she said you need to file them for 2019.
“A lot of people on Social Security have said to me, ‘But I don’t file my taxes,’” Ruhle recently told TODAY.com. “I get it … [But] you’re going to need to if you want to get the $1,200.”
If you need help filing your taxes, Ruhle said to go to IRS.gov and type “free file.” From there, the website guides you on how to file your taxes.
Ruhle suggested also signing up for a direct deposit from the IRS.
“That way, you’re going to get that check even faster,” Ruhle said.
The relief bill is a bipartisan package of legislation that was approved by the Senate last week. It will provide financial support for people hurt by the economic impact of the pandemic. Millions of Americans who earn $75,000 per year will receive direct payments of up to $1,200 with an extra $500 per child. The payments will phase out for individuals who earn more than $75,000 per year. They get smaller and smaller but don’t phase out completely until $99,000.
People who earn more than $99,000 per year are not eligible. The bill will also extend unemployment benefits to 13 weeks and expand unemployment checks to an additional four months of $600 weekly payments. This is in addition to what state unemployment benefits they receive.