Third Economic Impact Payment (Subscribe)

We updated the Q&As on this page to include additional information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about economic impact payments (EIP).

Please refer to the IRS' website for the latest information about economic impact payments (EIP) if you do not see an answer to your question below. Please do not contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) with questions about EIPs. Our representatives do not have information to answer your EIP questions. The IRS, not SSA, processes all EIPs.

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How can I get missing economic impact payments (EIP)?

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If you or your eligible spouse and dependents did not receive all or part of your EIPs, you may need to file a 2020 tax return with the IRS and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. You may need to do this even if you don’t usually file, to provide information the IRS needs to send missing payments. To learn more, visit our web page Economic Impact Payments and Tax Credits.

If I receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), when will I receive my economic impact payment (EIP)?

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Social Security and SSI beneficiaries with a U.S. address, and who do not typically file a tax return, will receive their EIPs as follows:

  • Electronic payment – direct deposit and Direct Express Card – should have received their EIP on or about April 7.
  • Paper check EIPs, for beneficiaries who receive their monthly Social Security or SSI payment in the mail, were mailed beginning April 9.

Social Security beneficiaries with a foreign address (not a U.S. address), and who do not typically file a tax return, will receive their EIPs as follows:

  • Electronic payment – direct deposit and Direct Express Card – will receive their EIP on or about April 21.
  • Paper check EIPs, for beneficiaries who receive their monthly Social Security payment in the mail, will be mailed beginning April 23.

You can use the IRS’ Get My Payment Tool to see an estimate of when the IRS may send your EIP. You will not see a payment date for your EIP until the IRS has processed your EIP.

As with first two EIPs, the IRS decided to pay EIPs first only to people who filed a 2020 or 2019 tax return, and to people who used the IRS’ Non-Filer Tool to receive a previous EIP. Some Social Security beneficiaries may have received a recent EIP if they filed a tax return with the IRS.

Please note that only the IRS pays EIPs, even to Social Security and SSI recipients. Please do not contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) with questions about EIPs. Our representatives do not have information to answer your EIP questions. The IRS, not SSA, processes all EIPs.

How will the IRS send my economic impact payment (EIP) if I have a representative payee?

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Please see the answer at the IRS' website.

If I live outside the United States and not in a U.S. Territory, how and when will I get my economic impact payment (EIP)?

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The IRS began issuing EIPs the week of March 15 to anyone who filed a 2020 or 2019 tax return, or if they used its Non-Filer Tool to receive a previous EIP.

Social Security beneficiaries with a foreign address (not a U.S. address) and who do not typically file a tax return will receive their EIPs as follows:

  • Electronic payment – direct deposit and Direct Express Card – will receive their EIP on or about April 21.
  • Paper check EIPs, for beneficiaries who receive their monthly Social Security payment in the mail, will be mailed beginning April 23.

You can use the IRS’ Get My Payment Tool to see an estimate when the IRS may send your EIP, when that information is available.

Why couldn’t Social Security provide data to the IRS sooner so the IRS could start paying economic impact payment (EIP) to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients more quickly?

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The Social Security Act is the law that governs what we are allowed to do and how. That law authorizes us to use our Trust Funds to administer the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs. While SSA may help other agencies with their important programs, we do so on a reimbursable basis so we do not use our Trust Funds.

As a result of our efforts, we successfully signed the reimbursable agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) less than one week after passage of the ARP, on March 17. That process often takes weeks or months to complete, but we got the job done in a matter of days. A few days later, on Monday, March 22, we sent initial test files to IRS. The IRS confirmed on March 24 that our files and process were good. The very next morning we sent the IRS the complete set of real files. We completed this process more than a week sooner than we were able to provide a similar file to IRS during the first round of EIPs.

Please read, “If I receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), when will I receive my economic impact payment (EIP)?”, on this page if you have a question when you can expect your EIP from the IRS.

Will the IRS send an Economic Impact Payment Debit Card to some people as with previous economic impact payments (EIP)?

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The IRS does not plan to issue prepaid debit cards to beneficiaries for this third round of EIPs.

If you have questions or concerns about a previous EIP payment by an EIP debit card, please visit the IRS’ EIP Card FAQ webpage or call the EIP Card Call Center at 1-800-240-8100 (TTY 1-800-241-9100). The Social Security Administration does not administer the EIP debit card program, and did not decide who received an EIP debit card instead of a paper check.

How can I check the status of my economic impact payment (EIP)?

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You can use the IRS’ Get My Payment Tool to see an estimate of when the IRS may send your EIP. You will not see a payment date for your EIP until the IRS has processed your EIP.

How should a representative payee use a beneficiary’s economic impact payment (EIP)?

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The EIP belongs to the Social Security or SSI beneficiary. It is not a Social Security or SSI benefit. A representative payee should discuss the EIP with the beneficiary. If the beneficiary wants to use the EIP independently, the representative payee should provide the EIP to the beneficiary. If the beneficiary asks the representative payee for assistance in using the EIP in a specific manner or saving it, the representative payee can provide that assistance outside the role of a representative payee.

How should representative payees account for the economic impact payment (EIP) when completing the annual Representative Payee Report (i.e., annual accounting form)?

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Because an EIP is not a Social Security or SSI benefit, representative payees are not required to account for the EIP when they complete their annual accounting form.

How will I receive my economic impact payment (EIP) if my monthly benefit is paid to a Direct Express Card?

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You may receive your EIP on your Direct Express Card if you:

  • Did not file a 2020 or 2019 tax return;
  • Did not use the IRS’ Non-Filer Tool to provide information to receive a previous EIP; and
  • You receive your monthly Social Security benefit or SSI payment by Direct Express Card.

If you received a previous EIP by an EIP debit card, not your Direct Express Card, the IRS may send your next EIP by check in the mail.

If I live in American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the U.S. Virgin Islands, how and when will I get my economic impact payment (EIP)?

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We are not aware of guidance to answer this question. Please visit www.irs.gov to see if information is available on this topic.

If I receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), what do I need to know about economic impact payments (EIP)?

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Please note that we will not consider EIPs as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.

What if a beneficiary alleges a representative payee misused the economic impact payment (EIP)?

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Because an EIP is not a Social Security or SSI benefit, SSA does not have authority to investigate or determine whether the EIP has been misused. However, if SSA receives an allegation that the EIP was not used on behalf of the beneficiary, SSA may decide to investigate for possible misuse of the beneficiary’s Social Security or SSI benefit payments. SSA may also determine the representative payee is no longer suitable and appoint a new representative payee.

What if I don’t see an answer to my economic impact payment (EIP) question on this web page?

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The IRS has published a web page dedicated to the third round of EIPs. Please visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus/third-economic-impact-payment.

Please remember that the IRS, not the Social Security Administration, issues EIPs. The Social Security Administration cannot answer EIP questions about your specific situation.

What should I do if I didn’t get a first or second economic impact payment (EIP) or think I got less than the full amount?

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The IRS has sent all first and second EIPs. If you didn’t get any payments, or you received less than the full amounts, you may qualify for the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. You must file a 2020 tax return to claim the credit even if you don’t normally file. IRS.gov has a special section about claiming the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit if you don’t usually file a tax return.

What should I do if I received an economic impact payment (EIP) for someone who is deceased?

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The IRS has not yet provided guidance to answer this question. Please visit www.irs.gov to see if information is available on this topic.

What should I do if my family situation has changed since I last filed a tax return or since I used the IRS’ Non-Filer Tool?

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The IRS is paying EIPs automatically only to eligible people you included on your most recent filed and processed tax return, or information you provided the IRS in its Non-Filer tool. If you have a new eligible person in your household (i.e. baby, adoption) since your last tax return, you must file a 2020 tax return by May 17, 2021 and include information about the new family members. Example: You filed a 2019 tax return or used the Non-Filer Tool to declare two child dependents. Since that filing, you had a baby and so you now have three child dependents. The IRS is going to send you automatic EIPs based only on the two children you reported to the IRS. To claim the EIP for your new child, you must file a tax return by May 17, 2021. You could receive that EIP separately.

What should I do if not everyone in my household received their economic income payments (EIPs)?

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If not everyone in your household received their first and/or second EIP, or if someone in your household might now be eligible, it’s important that you file a 2020 tax return.

The IRS is paying EIPs based on 2020 and 2019 tax returns, and to people claimed through its Non-Filer Tool in the past. The IRS will only know about new family members (e.g., spouse and dependents) if you file a 2020 tax return. You have until May 17, 2021 to file a 2020 tax return.

Where can I find the latest information from the IRS about economic impact payments (EIP)?

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The IRS has published a web page dedicated to the third round of EIPs. Please visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/third-economic-impact-payment.

Please remember that the IRS, not the Social Security Administration, issues EIPs. The Social Security Administration cannot answer EIP questions about your specific situation.

Why can’t Social Security just give me my economic impact payment (EIP) since they pay my monthly benefit?

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Social Security does not actually pay your monthly benefit amount. Social Security is responsible for determining who is eligible for a monthly Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment, and how much a person should receive each month. Social Security sends this information to the Bureau of Fiscal Service within the Department of the Treasury, which actually pays the monthly benefit to you.

In the case of EIPs, the IRS determines who will receive an EIP and the Bureau of Fiscal Service will pay EIPs.