How to get a coronavirus stimulus check if you're on Social Security

The Treasury Department changed its requirements overnight.

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
SUBSCRIBE
/ Source: Today
By Kerry Breen and Emily Pandise

If you’re on Social Security and have been trying to figure out how to get your coronavirus relief check, the Treasury Department issued updated guidance overnight for senior citizens. Now, seniors won’t need to take any action and will get the payment however they usually receive their benefits. Previously, seniors were instructed that they would have to file a simple tax return to get checks of up to $1,200 for individuals.

For many Americans, the IRS needs to understand an individual’s recent income history to send the correct amount for the check — and that’s why they need to file a tax return. For those on Social Security, the IRS already has that information.

"We want to ensure that our senior citizens, individuals with disabilities, and low-income Americans receive Economic Impact Payments quickly and without undue burden," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account.”

Download the TODAY app for the latest coverage on the coronavirus outbreak.

Who else is eligible for the coronavirus stimulus check?

Those who made less than $75,000 in 2019 will be eligible for the full one-time payment of $1,200. Couples who filed jointly and made less than $150,000 will get $2,400, and any individual who filed as head of household and earned $112,500 or less will also receive $1,200. For every child in the household, there will be an additional $500. Families of four will be eligible for a maximum of $3,400.

For those who earned more than $75,000, the payment will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of income that goes above the $75,000 cap, according to NBC News. Individuals who make more than $99,000 or couples making more than $198,000 will not receive any funds. The checks are based on all income, which means that retirees are also eligible for a check, which is nontaxable.

College students may not be eligible for the check if they are claimed as dependents by their parents. Students who work and file taxes independently may qualify.

People who owe child support may not receive the full $1,200 if they are past due and have been reported to the Treasury Department for owing money. Owing other back taxes or other debt is not a problem, according to NBC News.

When will coronavirus stimulus checks be sent?

According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, payments will go out "within three weeks" for people who have direct deposit information filed with the IRS. Direct deposit information can still be filed online.

For those who do not set up direct deposit, checks will be mailed to your "last known address," according to the IRS. If you have moved recently, notify the IRS as soon as possible so your check isn't sent to the wrong address. When you file your tax return, include up-to-date information about your address.