If You Missed Your Stimulus Check for Dependents, You have Another Chance

If You Missed Your Stimulus Check for Dependents, You have Another Chance
BY Justine Nelson
Aug 26, 2020
Key Takeaways:
  • You might not have received a stimulus check for dependents if you did not file taxes in 2019 or 2018.
  • The IRS is allowing non-filers to register for checks on its website.

If you didn’t receive additional money in your CARES Act stimulus check for your dependents, you now may have another chance to claim the money. As the pandemic and recession continues, Americans are still in need of financial support. Missing out on the extra $500 from the first stimulus check was a huge setback for many.

The IRS is now able to help those that may have missed out by extending the registration period for non-filers. If you didn’t fill out a 2018 or 2019 tax return and didn’t receive an extra stimulus check for each of your dependents, you may be part of the “non-filer” group. Here is what you need to know about applying for the money now.

The first stimulus check left some people out

The first round of stimulus checks was meant to get cash into the hands of Americans who needed it the most. However, low income parents were often left out of that equation since the stimulus payments were based on 2018 or 2019 tax returns. Anyone who makes less than $24,400 combined or less than $12,200 individually is not federally required to file a tax return, leaving these parents out of the IRS records.

Those who didn’t file a tax return were given just two days’ notice that they needed to report their dependents to the IRS. Not surprisingly, many non-filing parents missed the deadline. Losing out on this stimulus money was devastating, especially since many in this group fall within the poverty guidelines. According to the HHS, a family of four making less than $26,200 per year is considered to be living at the poverty line.

How to get the extra stimulus check for dependents

If you did not receive the appropriate amount of money for the number of dependents you have in the first round of stimulus checks, you now have one more opportunity. The tool which caused the IRS to miss those who did not file 2018 or 2019 returns has been corrected. You may fill out the non-filers tool on the IRS website. The new deadline is September 30.

Once you report your dependents, you can expect to receive a notice in the mail letting you know about the extra payment, or you can check the status of your stimulus payment at Get My Payment. The IRS will send out payments in October.

You will receive the money in the same way you received your first stimulus check. So, if you received your check by direct deposit, the additional dependent payout will also be direct deposited. If you received your check in the mail, your dependent payout will also be mailed.

Federal benefit recipients can also claim dependents

Anyone with dependents who receives federal benefits can also use the non-filers tool on the IRS site to receive the supplemental $500 per dependent. You are considered a qualifying recipient if you were unable to provide information earlier this year and receive any of these benefits:

  • Social Security retirement

  • Survivor or disability benefits

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • Railroad Retirement benefits

  • Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefits

  • And did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019

What could you do with extra stimulus money?

There are a few smart ways to spend your first stimulus check, but what should you do with this extra money for your dependents? Here are some additional ideas:

  • Pay for dependent education. The extra cash could go toward upcoming tuition, back-to-school materials, and educational software or equipment.

  • Pay for childcare. If you have to go to work and need backup childcare, you could use the extra payment towards childcare. Daycare is expensive, but $500 is a start.

  • Cover the essentials. Are last year’s sneakers too small for your kids? Use the extra funds to grab the right-sized sneakers, jeans, and school supplies for the school year. Then put the rest away in savings.

Will there be another stimulus check?

There has been plenty of talk about a second stimulus check, but the next bill needs to be passed before another round of payments can go out. At time of writing, the government is still negotiating stimulus package terms, so it’s hard to know if or when we’ll see a second stimulus check.

However, if the bill passes, you can probably expect to see the same amounts as last time: $1,200 for singles and $2,400 for couples. There’s also a plan to change aid eligibility for dependents. Under the initial CARES Act, dependents between the ages of 17 and 24 were not eligible for the additional $500 payment. In the HEALS and HEROES Acts, dependents of any age are included, meaning you may receive additional payment per dependent.

Find more financial help

The extra stimulus payout is a welcomed financial break, but it’s only temporary. If you want more help to manage your existing debt, the Freedom Debt Relief debt management guide can walk you through your options, including our debt relief program. Get started by downloading the How to Manage Debt guide here.

Editor’s Note, December 21, 2020: Congress has come to an agreement on the new stimulus package to send to President Trump for his signature. The new package reportedly includes an additional $600 check, extended unemployment benefits, extended eviction protections and more money for the PPP assistance to small business. We will cover more on the package as it develops. Please come back to our blogs for updated news and information.

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