VA Benefits Recipients Will Get Coronavirus Stimulus Payments

April 17, 2020 4:10 PM , Updated May 1, 2020 1:40 PM
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Close up of the image of Benjamin Franklin on a $100 bill wearing a face mask to protect from COVID-19 coronavirus

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that recipients of VA benefits will automatically receive coronavirus stimulus payments.

Veterans and their beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments from VA will receive a $1,200 Economic Impact Payment with no further action needed on their part. Timing on the payments is still being determined.

Moving VA recipients into the automatic payment category follows weeks of extensive cooperative work between VA, Treasury, IRS as well as the Bureau of Fiscal Services.

The IRS has also done the same for individuals receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement benefits. Many people in these groups are expected to see the automatic $1,200 payments later this month, with SSI payments expected to start in early May.

“Since many VA recipients typically aren’t required to file tax returns, the IRS had to work with these other government agencies to determine a way to quickly and accurately deliver Economic Impact Payments to this group,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

“Additional programming work remains, but this step simplifies the process for VA recipients to quickly and easily receive these $1,200 payments automatically. We deeply appreciate the sacrifices and service to our country by each and every veteran and their families, as well as the assistance of VA and the Bureau of Fiscal Services in this effort.”

The Treasury Department, not the VA, will make these automatic payments.  Recipients will generally receive the automatic payments the way they receive their current benefits.

Extra Step Needed for Benefits Recipients with Children

The IRS said that benefits recipients who have qualifying dependents will need to take an extra step to ensure they get the additional $500 payment per child.

The law provides eligible taxpayers with qualifying children under age 17 to receive an extra $500. For taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019, the child payments will be automatic.

However, many benefit recipients typically aren’t required to file tax returns. If they have children who qualify, an extra step is needed to add $500 per child onto their automatic payment of $1,200 if they didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019.

For those who receive these benefits – including VA, Social Security retirement or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits or SSI – and have a qualifying child, they can quickly register by visiting “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info” available on the irs.gov website. For those who can use this tool as soon as possible, they may be able to get earlier delivery of the child payments by having these added to their automatic payments.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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