Older adults may be eligible for a second stimulus check: Everything you need to know

Many older individuals acquired a primary stimulus fee, however eligibility may change if one other invoice passes. 

Sarah Tew/PJDM

One main rule relating to stimulus check qualifications? Age. For older adults and retired individuals, components reminiscent of your tax filingsyour AGI, your pension, in the event you’re a part of the Social Security Disability Insurance program and whether or not or not you count to the IRS as a dependent contributed to your probabilities of receiving a first stimulus check. They are going to doubtless type the idea of a second payment, if a brand new invoice passes in Congress.

Negotiations are ongoing, with each political events attempting to agree on a new coronavirus aid package — one that features a second stimulus examine for up to $1,200 per individual.

This is every part older individuals and retirees have to find out about stimulus examine eligibility. You may also try our instrument to help you calculate how much stimulus money you could get, and essentially the most important things you should know about stimulus checks right now

Who counts as an older grownup or senior citizen to the IRS?

Anybody age 65 or older on the finish of 2019 is taken into account a senior on their taxes that 12 months and past. (When you’ve got questions on citizenship necessities, extra under.)

How have you learnt in the event you’re eligible for a stimulus examine? What if in case you have a pension or generate income from investments?

Whether or not or not you are eligible for a stimulus examine (and if you’re, how a lot cash you can obtain) depends upon your adjusted gross income, or AGI, out of your 2019 federal tax submitting. 

When you’ve got a pension or investments which are taxable, they may have an effect on your AGI, and subsequently your eligibility for a stimulus examine. The identical is true for curiosity from a checking account. Nonetheless, curiosity from tax-exempt bonds isn’t included in your AGI, so would not have an effect on your stimulus fee eligibility. 

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Subsequent stimulus checks: What to anticipate


What precisely does the IRS rely as earnings? 

Your gross earnings consists of earnings from sources exterior of the US, from promoting your essential dwelling, and features (however not losses) reported on Form 8949 or Schedule D

Your gross earnings doesn’t embrace any social safety advantages, except:

  • You might be married however submitting separated, and lived together with your partner in some unspecified time in the future in 2019.
  • Half of your social safety advantages plus your different gross earnings and any tax-exempt curiosity is greater than $25,000 submitting single (or $32,000 if married submitting collectively). 

If both of these are the case for you, you possibly can try the Instructions for Forms 1040 and 1040-SR or Pub. 915, Social Security and Equivalent Railroad Retirement Benefits to determine the taxable a part of social safety advantages you have to embrace in gross earnings.

What in the event you did not get a primary examine, however have been eligible to get one? 

When you’re age 65 or older and certified for a primary stimulus examine underneath the March CARES Act, however didn’t obtain one, you possibly can track the status of your missing payment by visiting the IRS Get My Payment webpage, or strive contacting the IRS by telephone. 

Do older individuals have to file tax returns?

The requirement to file a tax return depends upon your gross earnings, which is all earnings you obtain within the type of cash, items, property and providers that are not tax-exempt (extra under). For 2019, the usual deduction quantity for single filers was $12,200. 

Your gross earnings is completely different out of your adjusted gross income, or AGI, which is your gross earnings minus any eligible changes that you could be qualify for. (Discover out everything you need to know about how your taxes impact your stimulus payment here.)


When you rely as another person’s dependent, you were not eligible for any stimulus cash underneath the CARES Act. 

Angela Lang/PJDM

When ought to I file taxes if I am over 65? 

When you’re age 65 or older, it’s best to file taxes underneath the next circumstances:

  • Single filer with no less than $13,850 in gross earnings
  • Head of family with no less than $20,000 in gross earnings
  • Married submitting collectively (if one partner is 65 or older, $25,700 in gross earnings; if each spouses are 65 or older, $27,000 in gross earnings)
  • Married submitting individually (any age, $5)
  • Qualifying widow(er) age 65 or older with no less than $25,700 in gross earnings

Within the 2019 tax 12 months, the IRS launched Form 1040-SR, US Tax Return for Seniors. This way is principally the identical as Kind 1040, however has bigger textual content and a few useful info for older taxpayers. 

How have you learnt in the event you rely as another person’s dependent? 

Some older individuals could rely as a depending on another person’s taxes, referred to as a “qualifying relative.” For instance, chances are you’ll dwell together with your kids. By way of qualifying for a possible second stimulus examine, the principle tax filer would have needed to declare you as a depending on their tax type 1040 in 2019. 

A qualifying relative might be any age. To be counted as a qualifying relative on somebody’s tax return, the particular person should meet 4 standards: 

  • Don’t rely as a qualifying child dependent
  • Dwell with the member of the family all 12 months as a member of their family, or rely as a relative who doesn’t need to dwell with you all 12 months (reminiscent of a father or mother or grandparent, a stepparent, or a sibling) 
  • Have a gross earnings for the 12 months of lower than $4,200
  • Have greater than half of your help through the 12 months come from that member of the family

When you have been a depending on another person’s taxes and have been over the age of 16, you weren’t certified for any stimulus cash in any respect within the first spherical of stimulus checks. 


There are a number of the reason why some seniors could not have gotten a primary stimulus examine.

Sarah Tew/PJDM

Had been older individuals eligible for the primary spherical of stimulus checks? What about veterans, dependents and members of SSI and SSDI packages? 

Sure, with caveats. Social Safety recipients and retired railroad staff who weren’t required to file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 have been eligible for the primary stimulus fee, and weren’t required to file a tax return to get their examine, in keeping with the IRS. The funds have been based mostly on info contained of their 1099 profit statements, with no extra paperwork required. 

Supplemental Safety Revenue recipients with out dependent kids ought to have acquired stimulus funds routinely, with out having to file any extra paperwork as nicely. The identical is true for individuals who obtain Compensation and Pensions advantages from the Division of Veterans Affairs. 

People who find themselves a part of the Social Safety Incapacity Insurance coverage program who weren’t required to file tax returns for 2018 or 2019 must also have routinely acquired a primary stimulus fee. (Discover out extra about how SSDI impacts stimulus payments here.) 

Nonetheless, older individuals who have been claimed as a depending on 2019 tax types weren’t eligible for a stimulus examine underneath the CARES Act. But when a second examine is accredited, it is doubtless that the principle tax filer would get extra cash for these dependents (learn extra under). 

Would stimulus {qualifications} change if a second examine is accredited?

If a second stimulus fee is accredited by Congress, it is doubtless that {qualifications} will stay largely the identical for older adults. Those that rely as dependents on another person’s taxes, nevertheless, could also be eligible for added cash in a brand new stimulus package deal. 

We can’t know precisely how a lot cash might be allotted for dependents till one other stimulus package deal passes. This is what we do know. Below the White House’s Oct. 9 $1.8 trillion proposal, you’d get $1,000 per child dependent. The complete textual content of the invoice isn’t out there, so it is unclear how a lot is allotted for grownup dependents, if any. 

Below the Republican-backed HEALS Act and the revised Heroes Act, you’d get $500 per dependent, no matter age, with no cap on the variety of dependents who may obtain that cash. The preliminary Democratic-backed Heroes Act proposed $1,200 per dependent, for as much as three individuals.  

Do you must be a US citizen to obtain a stimulus fee? 

Below the CARES Act, all US citizens and non-US citizens with a Social Security number who dwell and work in America have been eligible to obtain stimulus funds. That features individuals who the IRS discuss with as “resident aliens,” inexperienced card holders and staff utilizing visas reminiscent of H-1B and H-2A.

In case your citizenship standing modified because you first bought a social safety quantity, you’ll have to replace the IRS’s data to get your examine (extra on that under). US residents dwelling overseas have been additionally eligible for a primary fee. 


What counts as earnings? That depends upon your very private circumstances.

Angela Lang/PJDM

All the explanations chances are you’ll not have gotten a primary stimulus examine

There are a number of doable causes that you could be not have acquired a primary stimulus examine underneath the CARES Act, in keeping with Janet Holtzblatt, a senior fellow on the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center:

The IRS didn’t have sufficient info to resolve in your eligibility. When you obtain Social Security retirement, SSDI, survivor benefits, SSI, Veterans Affairs Compensation and Pension benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits and didn’t routinely get a fee by examine, direct deposit or EIP card, you may need to fill out the web IRS nonfilers tool by Oct. 15. In any other case, you may have to attend till subsequent 12 months and file a tax return for 2020 to get your examine. 

If you cannot submit the knowledge on-line utilizing the instrument, you possibly can nonetheless use the location to enter the required info after which print and mail the doc to the IRS. Write “EIP 2020” on the high of the printed doc.

This may occasionally have occurred in the event you grew to become a US citizen or acquired your inexperienced card because you first bought a social safety quantity. To qualify for a examine, you have to have the right sort of Social Safety quantity that authorizes you to work within the US, Holtzblatt mentioned. In case your citizenship standing modified and also you did not inform SSA, the IRS’s data wouldn’t be updated. 

You owe youngster help. In some circumstances, chances are you’ll not have acquired your fee (or the complete quantity) since you owe youngster help. Below sure circumstances, the Treasury Division reduces authorities funds by the quantity of kid help owed.

You had a financial institution overdraft or lien. In some circumstances, the complete stimulus fee was direct deposited into your checking account, however the financial institution could have withheld all or a portion of it due to an overdraft or a lien from a 3rd occasion. When you suspect that is the case, it’s best to contact your financial institution. 

What in the event you’re over 65 with dependents however did not get the extra $500?

When you’re age 65 or older and have a baby dependent age 16 or youthful who qualified for an extra $500 under the CARES Act, you can have used the IRS nonfilers tool by Sept. 30 to assert that cash. When you missed that deadline, you may have to attend till 2021 to assert your stimulus fee on behalf of eligible dependents. Nonetheless, the IRS has mentioned that you just should not use the instrument but in the event you nonetheless plan on submitting a 2019 tax return (for example, in the event you filed for an Oct. 15 extension), as it is going to decelerate the method.

For extra details about stimulus funds, this is how fast the IRS could send out a second stimulus payment if it passes. And in the event you nonetheless have not acquired your stimulus examine and also you suppose it is misplaced or lacking, do that IRS phone number to file a report.

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Alison DeNisco Rayome