Economic Impact Payments Paid by the CARES Act (Subscribe)

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If I live outside the United States and not in a U.S. Territory, how and when will I get my economic impact payment (EIP)?

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Social Security beneficiaries with a foreign address whose monthly benefit is deposited in a foreign bank will receive their EIP by paper check in the mail, because the IRS does not deposit money into foreign accounts. The IRS anticipates it will start mailing most of these EIPs no later than July 24. Most beneficiaries living abroad who receive their monthly benefit through a domestic bank should receive their EIP by direct deposit to that same account on or about July 24. The remaining direct deposit and paper check EIPs should be completed by August 12 and August 14, respectively, according to the IRS.

What should I do if I received an economic impact payment (EIP) for someone who is deceased?

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You should return the EIP to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if the person was already deceased when you received their EIP. Following the instructions in the Returning the Economic Impact Payment section of the IRS’ EIP frequently asked questions page.

What is the Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Card being sent to some people?

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The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) announced on May 18 that it would send nearly 4 million EIPs by prepaid debit card, instead of by paper check. If you received an EIP debit card, still have it but did not activate it yet, please refer to "How do I activate my EIP card?" on the EIP Card FAQ webpage. You must activate the card to access the money.

Treasury is aware that some intended EIP debit card recipients may have discarded the envelope or otherwise not activated the card. The debit card issuer is mailing a letter to each person who has not yet activated their card. The letter reminds people how to activate the card and informs those people who may have inadvertently thrown the card away how to request a replacement card at no cost. The Treasury Department logo will be visible on the envelope and letter. The left front of the envelope will include this notation: “Not a bill or an advertisement. Important information about your Economic Impact Payment.”

Visit the EIP Card FAQ webpage or call the EIP Card Call Center at 1-800-240-8100 (TTY 1-800-241-9100) if you have questions about these cards. The Social Security Administration does not administer the EIP debit card program, and does not decide who receives an EIP debit card instead of a paper check.

EIP card recipients can make purchases, get cash from in-network ATMs, and transfer funds to their personal bank account without incurring any fees. Please note that the EIP card is not the same as the Direct Express Debit Card on which many Social Security and SSI beneficiaries receive their monthly benefit payment.

How will I receive my economic impact payment (EIP) if my monthly benefits is paid to a Direct Express Card?

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If you use or used the IRS’ Non-Filer Tool to enter dependent information, you will not receive your automatic $1,200 payment on your Direct Express card. You will receive both your $1,200 payment and each child’s $500 payment on a non-Direct Express bank account you can provide, or by mail if you leave bank information empty, and only if the IRS has not already processed your $1,200 payment. If you started receiving Social Security (retirement, survivors, disability) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) before January 1, 2020, you did not file a tax return in 2019 or 2018, and you have a qualifying child under 17, your deadline established by the IRS to enter information in its Non-Filer Tool has passed. You will still receive your automatic $1,200 payment on your Direct Express card, but you will need to file a tax return next year to get a $500 payment per qualifying child. Social Security and SSI recipients who started receiving their monthly benefit on or after January 1, 2020 may still use the Non-Filer Tool for their qualifying child.

If I live in American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, how and when will I get my economic impact payment (EIP)?

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Special rules apply to beneficiaries living in the U.S. territories. In general, the tax authority in each territory, not the IRS, will pay the EIP to eligible residents based on information the IRS will provide to the territories. It is anticipated that beneficiaries in the territories could begin receiving their EIP in early June. People should contact their local tax authority with questions about these payments. Please note their website may use the term “Economic Impact Payment” or “stimulus payment.”

If I receive Social Security benefits, when will I receive my economic impact payment (EIP)?

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The IRS has processed most EIPs for Social Security (retirement, survivors, disability) beneficiaries whether they did or did not file a 2019 or 2018 tax return. If you live in a U.S. territory or outside the United States, the payment schedule of EIPs is different and we have that information in another question on this page.

If I receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), what do I need to know about economic impact payments (EIP)?

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Please note that we will not consider EIPs as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.

The IRS has processed most EIPs to SSI recipients who are dually entitled to SSI and Social Security, and to SSI recipients if they filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return.

SSI recipients who did not file a 2019 and 2018 return and who do not have a representative payee should have received their electronic payment from the IRS by May 13 by direct deposit or to their Direct Express card if they did not use the IRS’ Non-Filer Tool. If you used the IRS’ Non-Filer Tool, you should have received your payment by May 13 to the non-Direct Express bank account you may have provided. The IRS began mailing paper checks on May 15 to SSI recipients who receive their monthly SSI payment by paper check, and to SSI recipients who used the IRS’ Non-Filer Tool but left the bank account information empty.

Please refer to our guide Economic Impact Payments for Social Security and SSI Recipients – Steps to Take and Schedule of Payments for additional details.

Was there a deadline for Social Security Beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients to file for the $500 economic impact payment (EIP) per qualifying child from the IRS?

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Important deadlines set by the IRS have passed for people receiving Social Security (retirement, survivors, disability) or SSI who did not file a 2019 or 2018 tax return and have a qualifying child under age 17. The IRS’ deadline to use the IRS’ Non-Filer Tool to enter their and their child’s information to receive $500 per qualifying child this year was April 22 for Social Security and May 5 for SSI. If you missed your deadline, you must wait until next year to file a tax year 2020 tax return to receive the $500 payment. However, you will still receive your $1,200 payment this year without having to wait to file a tax return next year.

If you have a representative payee or you are a representative payee, please refer to the Representative Payees category on this page to learn more.

How will the IRS send my economic impact payment (EIP) if I have a representative payee?

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If you filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return: Your $1,200 EIP was or will be sent to the bank account provided on your tax return for an electronic tax refund, or mailed to the address provided on your tax return if a tax refund was mailed or if there was no refund.

If you did not file a 2019 or 2018 tax return:

  • An Individual Representative Payee should begin receiving EIPs on May 28 (revised from May 22) to the same direct deposit account or Direct Express card as the recipient’s monthly Social Security or SSI payment. The mailing of paper check EIPs to payees will begin May 27.
  • For an Organizational Representative Payee, the schedule above is the same, except that the payee may receive the EIP electronically or by paper check in the mail.

Typically, check payments to representative payees are clearly designated. For example, “Susan Smith for” on the first line of the check and the second line of the check displays the beneficiary’s name. For EIP checks, there may be instances where the representative payee’s name on the first line of the check is truncated, or missing the “for” designation, or the “for” designation could appear twice. These anomalies should not, in and of themselves, prevent financial institutions and check cashers from processing the check.

Where can I get answers to my economic impact payment (EIP) questions?

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You can find answers to most of your EIP-related questions at the IRS’ Economic Payment Information Center webpage or on this webpage. If you do not see the answer to your question, you can call the Internal Revenue Service’s EIP hotline at 1-800-919-9835. The Social Security Administration cannot answer EIP questions about your specific situation.

On May 14, we updated our guide, Economic Impact Payments for Social Security and SSI Recipients – Steps to Take and Schedule of Payments. You can use this guide to quickly and easily determine whether you need to take any action to receive your economic impact payment, or a payment for your qualifying child. The document also explains when the Internal Revenue Service, not the Social Security Administration, will issue the payment.

How should a representative payee use a beneficiary’s economic impact payment (EIP)?

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The EIP belongs to the Social Security or SSI beneficiary. It is not a Social Security or SSI benefit. A representative payee should discuss the EIP with the beneficiary. If the beneficiary wants to use the EIP independently, the representative payee should provide the EIP to the beneficiary. If the beneficiary asks the representative payee for assistance in using the EIP in a specific manner or saving it, the representative payee can provide that assistance outside the role of a representative payee.

How should representative payees account for the economic impact payment (EIP) when completing the annual Representative Payee Report (i.e., annual accounting form)?

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Because an EIP is not a Social Security or SSI benefit, representative payees are not required to account for the EIP when they complete their annual accounting form.

What if a beneficiary alleges a representative payee misused the economic impact payment (EIP)?

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Because an EIP is not a Social Security or SSI benefit, SSA does not have authority to investigate or determine whether the EIP has been misused. However, if SSA receives an allegation that the EIP was not used on behalf of the beneficiary, SSA may decide to investigate for possible misuse of the beneficiary’s Social Security or SSI benefit payments. SSA may also determine the representative payee is no longer suitable and appoint a new representative payee.

What responsibilities does the representative payee have in managing the beneficiary’s economic impact payment (EIP)?

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Under the Social Security Act, a representative payee is only responsible for managing Social Security or SSI benefits. An EIP is not such a benefit. A representative payee should discuss the EIP with the beneficiary. If the beneficiary wants to use the EIP independently, the representative payee should provide the EIP to the beneficiary. If the beneficiary asks the representative payee for assistance in using the EIP in a specific manner or saving it, the representative payee can provide that assistance outside the role of a representative payee.