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Kokua Line: Certain ‘nonfilers’ with kids can still increase COVID-19 stimulus payment

Question: My husband receives Social Security. I receive SSI. We don’t file taxes. It’s just us two. Were we supposed to do the nonfiler part, or will the stimulus payment be automatic? It’s so confusing.

Answer: No, neither you nor your husband needed to fill out the form for eligible stimulus recipients who don’t file federal income tax returns (nonfilers), because you don’t have dependents age 16 or younger.

Economic Impact Payments will be paid automatically to people who receive Social Security Administration retirement, survivor or disability benefits, Railroad Retirement Benefits, Supplemental Security Income and Veterans Affairs benefits, even if they don’t file federal income tax returns, according to the IRS. “No action is needed by these groups; they will automatically receive their $1,200 payment,” it says.

The Treasury Department will make these payments, generally by the same method the recipients’ monthly benefits are delivered.

However, additional action was or is necessary for anyone in those groups who doesn’t file taxes and has dependents age 16 or younger. They are eligible for an additional $500 per child, but need(ed) to supply information online to receive that money now. “Otherwise, their payment at this time will be $1,200 and, by law, the additional $500 per eligible child amount would be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020,” the IRS says, which means a nonfiler would have to file next year.

The deadline for SSA or RRB recipients to list eligible dependents was Wednesday, the IRS says. SSI and VA recipients still have time but must act quickly. To list dependents, go to and click on “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here.”

Q: I receive SSI. When am I going to get a stimulus check?

A: SSI recipients are supposed to receive automatic payments in early May.

Q: I am a disabled Vietnam veteran. How and when do I get my stimulus?

A: “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,” the IRS says.

Q: I have not received any stimulus. Who can I call?

A: There’s no IRS phone line for questions about these payments. Some information is available online at

Q: The account that my daughter used to pay her federal taxes last year is now closed. How will the IRS pay out her stimulus payment?

A: “If the account is closed or no longer active, the bank will reject the deposit and you will be issued a check that will be mailed to the address we have on file for you. This is generally the address on your most recent tax return or as updated through the United States Postal Service (USPS). You do not need to call the IRS to change your payment method or update your address at this time,” the agency says on its website.

A letter is mailed to each recipient’s last known address within 15 days after a payment is made, saying how the payment was made and how to respond if it was not received.

Q: I got my stimulus payment by direct deposit! One question: Is this money taxable?

A: “No, the payment is not income and you will not owe tax on your payment. It will not reduce your refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2020 tax return next year. A payment also will not affect your income for purposes of determining eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs,” the IRS says.

Q: A friend of mine mentioned that the stimulus checks will need to be paid back in next year’s tax filing. Is this true?

A: No. (See previous question.)

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

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