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Stimulus check: Some veterans are still waiting for their checks

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The IRS is continuing to issue stimulus checks, even as the bulk of the $1,400 payments have already been distributed to eligible Americans. But among those still waiting are some people who receive benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

The IRS on Friday said it is continuing to review payment data it received from the VA, but doesn't yet have a specific payment date available for those recipients. It said it believes that VA beneficiaries who don't regularly file tax returns could receive their payments by mid-April, however. The tax agency did not disclose how many veterans may be waiting for their money.

The latest twist comes amid delays for some government benefit recipients, including 30 million people who receive benefits through Social Security and other agencies but who don't normally file tax returns. Because the IRS has relied on tax returns to find bank information or addresses for recipients, as well as to check their income eligibility, it's faced a bigger hurdle in getting payments to people who don't file tax returns. 

Some vets face obstacle

In the latest round of $1,400 stimulus checks, the IRS first distributed the payments to people for whom it had payment data on file, such as people who had filed either their 2019 or 2020 tax returns. But it didn't receive payment data from the Social Security Administration until late March for millions of beneficiaries who hadn't filed tax returns nor used the "non-filers" tool that the IRS had offered last year. 

But the IRS isn't offering the "non-filers" tool this year, which means that people who don't file taxes don't have a way of providing their bank account information or their mailing address to the IRS — short of filing a tax return.

"Currently, the IRS estimates that [stimulus payments] for VA beneficiaries who do not regularly file tax returns could be disbursed by mid-April," the IRS said on Friday. "VA beneficiary payment information will be available in the Get My Payment tool at a future date."

That may leave some veterans feeling frustrated, including the inability to check when their payments might arrive. The IRS didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Social Security: Payments arriving April 7

Meanwhile, Social Security recipients who are still waiting for their checks will see the payments arrive via direct deposit on April 7, according to the IRS. Some checks will be mailed, either via paper checks or pre-paid debit cards, which could take longer to arrive, however. 

Some Social Security recipients have already received their payments, the IRS said. Those include beneficiaries who used the non-Filers tool last year or have already filed their 2019 or 2020 tax returns.

Stimulus payments delaying tax returns 06:25

Some low-income people, such as single people over 65 who earn less than $14,050, aren't required to file taxes, which has made it more difficult for the IRS to determine where to send checks for those recipients. The IRS has generally relied on tax returns to determine eligibility as well as direct-deposit bank information.

Even so, the IRS said some people who receive federal benefits and normally don't file a tax return may need to file one this year if they want to ensure the correct payment. That's particularly true for people with dependents, since the IRS may need a tax return to check for eligible dependents within a household. 

"Eligible individuals in this group should file a 2020 tax return to be considered for an additional payment for their qualified dependent as quickly as possible," the IRS said on Friday.

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