SSI Stimulus Update: Do Recipients Have to File a Simple Tax Return?

SSI Stimulus Update

If you’d rather watch than read, check out the YouTube version here!


There’s a lot of confusion regarding the stimulus is whether or not someone receiving SSI, Supplemental Security Income, benefits needs to file a simple tax return in order to get their stimulus.

And I think some other prominent financial YouTubers are incorrect on this matter right now, as well as some media outlets.

So in this video I am going to walk you through the IRS website, the Social Security Administration website, and other sources, to show you how I’ve come to my position on this as of right now, April 8, absent further updates from the IRS or Treasury or the Social Security Administration.

If you disagree with me, don’t just say, “I disagree!  So-and-so said this, the IRS website says that,” actually show me where I’m wrong.  Tell me at what timestamp in this video I made an incorrect statement, and I will consider that, I’m open to it.

But just to show you where we’re at today, let’s take a look.

IRS website: “Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security, Railroad Retirement, disability or veterans’ benefits as well as taxpayers who do not make enough money to normally have to file a tax return will receive a payment. This also includes those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from certain benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income benefits.”

Stop. All that paragraph just said was that those on SSI are eligible for a stimulus check.  That is completely true.  Some people are looking at that and saying, “Oh, the IRS mentioned Supplemental Security Income on this page, that means they don’t have to do anything right now.”

No. All this part says is that SSI recipients are eligible for the stimulus. No one’s debating that.

Then the IRS goes on to say, “Retirees who receive either Social Security retirement or Railroad Retirement benefits will also receive payments automatically.”

Stop. SSI is not “Social Security retirement or Railroad Retirement benefits.”

Social Security retirement is paid for from the Social Security trust funds.

SSI is a needs-based program that is paid for by general tax revenues.

They’re different.

So the IRS is saying, “Retirees who receive either Social Security retirement or Railroad Retirement benefits will also receive payments automatically.”

OK, SSI is not included in that statement.

Nor is it included in this statement also on the IRS website, and I quote: “Social Security and Railroad Retirement recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate Economic Impact Payments of $1,200 to these individuals even if they did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients are also part of this group who don’t need to take action. For Social Security, Railroad retirees and SSDI who have qualifying children, they can take an additional step to receive $500 per qualifying child.”

Now, did you hear anything about SSI in that paragraph? No. And that’s significant.

The IRS mentioned SSI in the paragraph about who’s eligible for stimulus payments.

The IRS mentioned SSDI in the paragraph about who doesn’t need to take action to get their stimulus check.

But they did not mention SSI recipients in the paragraph about who doesn’t need to take action to get their stimulus checks.

Also, let’s go to the Social Security Administration website FAQs, and look at this date, April 7, so they’re updating this page on a regular basis, alright, they just updated it yesterday, and this page still says, “SSI recipients are eligible to receive the economic impact payment. We are working closely with Treasury to address outstanding questions about our SSI recipients in an attempt to make the issuance of economic impact payments as quick and efficient as possible. We realize people are concerned, and the IRS will provide additional information when available.”

If it were clear by the IRS’s statements on its own website that SSI recipients do not need to file a simple tax return, SSA would have removed this by now, SSA is regularly updating this page, they don’t want to spread misinformation, they want their beneficiaries to be informed.

But SSA still has this language on their page. If it were clear that SSI recipients don’t need to take further action, SSA would have updated this by now.

Last thing, and and obviously a tweet isn’t authoritative as the IRS website or the SSA website, but last night, various AARP accounts were still tweeting that they’re urging the IRS to change guidelines so SSI recipients can receive stimulus payments under the CARES Act without further action.

I’m sure you’ve heard it, but this past Sunday, a bunch of senators wrote to Secretary Mnuchin urging him to use your authority to provide stimulus payments automatically to recipients of benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Supplemental Security Income program, without requiring them to file a tax return.

That was this past Sunday, and you’d better believe that if anything had changed since then, these senators would be telling you, but it hasn’t changed, as of right now, April 8, late morning, early afternoon for some of you.

Of course, this could very well change, and I hope it does, and it probably will because everyone is on Treasury’s butt to fix this.

So if Treasury fixes or clarifies this tomorrow, don’t come back to me and say, “I told you so.”  I’m just saying that based on the information we can see published by the IRS and others right now, there is not really any support to the statement that as of right now, April 8, SSI recipients do not need to take further action to receive a stimulus payment.

Now, I’ve seen some other YouTubers, even another CPA who has a video right now going viral about the stimulus, and I respect that guy, but these other YouTubers and even some news publications are incorrectly stating that as of right now SSI recipients do not have to file a simple tax return.

This is not yet supported by the language that the IRS has produced on the subject of who gets a payment automatically and who doesn’t.

That could change, because everybody is on Treasury’s behind right now to fix this.

Please like and subscribe to my channel so together we can stop the spread of misinformation, put your comments below, if you think I’m wrong, please tell me exactly what I said that was incorrect, don’t just say, “The IRS website says SSI gets it automatically now. Show me where. Show me the exact language.” Take it easy, you all, we’re all in this together.

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