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Kokua Line: IRS adds time for federal beneficiaries to claim kids for $500 stimulus payments

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Question: I am on Social Security disability. I got my stimulus, but without the $500 for my grandson, who is my legal dependent and under 17, so he should have been eligible. Is there anything I can do at this point?

Answer: Yes. The Internal Revenue Service announced on Friday that it was reopening the registration period for federal beneficiaries who didn’t receive Economic Impact Payments for their qualifying children. As you know, the basic stimulus payment was $1,200 per qualifying taxpayer, plus $500 for each eligible child under age 17.

Eligible federal beneficiaries like you should have received their basic amount automatically, but may not have received the bonus for eligible dependents if they did not file federal income taxes in 2018 or 2019, or, alternatively, did not supply information via the nonfilers tool on the IRS website, at You can also find a link on IRS home page, at; click on “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here.”

The IRS had previously said the nonfilers’ information was due by May 5, but now it says that certain federal benefit recipients can use the tool through Sept. 30 to enter information about qualifying children. Those who do so should receive the $500 payments by mid- October, it said.

Federal beneficiaries eligible for this extended deadline include people who receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits; Supplemental Security Income; Railroad Retirement benefits or Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension benefits, and who have qualifying children and did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, according to the IRS.

If you don’t submit the information by Sept. 30, you may claim the $500 as a tax credit next year by filing a 2020 federal income tax return, the IRS said.

Q: Thanks for the information about the resumption of driving instruction for teens in the Graduated Driver Licensing Program and about renewing driver’s permits ( My question is: Since so many months passed with the driving schools closed, does my son have to stay in this program or can he go straight to the road test once he turns 18?

A: Assuming your son has a valid driving permit and no legal stoppers, he should be eligible to take the road test at age 18, regardless of whether he completed all the classroom or behind-the-wheel requirements of the GDL program. He would be seeking a license as an adult, rather than as a 16- or 17-year-old who had fulfilled requirements to convert their learner’s permit to a provisional license.

Q: With so much news about the rising and disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases among Pacific Islanders, I am wondering why more isn’t said about public health information tailored for them. I know it exists, but so few seem to mention it. Could you?

A: Yes. Many social serv­ice and health agencies offer information about COVID-19 in multiple languages, including the Hawaii Department of Health. Its Office of Language Access has videos and other information posted in Marshallese and Chuukese, as well as in Cantonese, English, Ilocano, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin and Tagalog. See health.


A thousand “thank yous” are not enough for two young men in a pickup truck who found me lying in the middle of the street near Hunakai Park on June 3 at about 10 p.m. and got help for me. Unfortunately, no one got the names of these two truly good Samaritans. I can only hope they will read this and realize how grateful I am for their rescue. I am alive and recovering. — Mahalo nui loa, Barbara

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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