Third stimulus check for veterans: New payment date, eligibility, dependents

For those who receive VA benefits, an IRS update said the third stimulus check is on the way.

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For veterans who receive VA disability or pension benefits, your stimulus checks for up to $1,400 apiece could start going out today, April 14, the IRS said. The new payments come a week after those who qualify for SSI and SSDI payments started getting their checks.

More than 156 million payments of up to $1,400 each (calculate your stimulus total) have gone out so far, with the money going to bank accounts by direct deposit and in the mail as paper checks and EIP cards. Included in this week’s group are those who receive Social Security benefits and were also waiting for the IRS to get updated files so it could process payments. (Here’s how to track your stimulus check with the IRS.)

If you receive benefits from the VA, here’s what you need to know about your stimulus money, including if you qualifywhen the money will come, when to look for your payment, and if you need to file a tax return in order to claim money for your dependents. Here are other ways the new economic stimulus bill could help you, including if you have children or receive unemployment benefits. This story has been updated with new information.

If you receive VA benefits, do you qualify for the third stimulus check?

Yes. The IRS said those who received veteran benefits in 2020 automatically qualify for a payment and won’t need to take any additional steps to receive their payment. The IRS said it is working with the Veterans Affairs Department to make the payments. However, nonfilers are being told they need to file a 2020 tax return if they have dependents that the IRS doesn’t know about, for example, a new baby born in 2020 or 2021.

When will veterans get their third stimulus check payment?

The IRS said it expects to start making third stimulus payments to VA beneficiaries who do not regularly file tax returns by today, April 14. Those who receive VA benefits may be able to see updates for their payment information in the IRS’ Get My Payment tool as the weekend of April 10 and 11.

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Stimulus check 3: How much money you’ll get


How much stimulus money could you get?

With the American Rescue Plan, those who qualify for the third stimulus check can receive up to $1,400 apieceDependents — including older adult relatives, college-age children and dependents with certain disabilities — could count for an additional $1,400 apiece (more below).

How will you receive your $1,400 stimulus check?

If you did not file a tax return and you receive VA benefits on a Direct Express card, your third stimulus payment will be deposited to that card, the IRS said. The VA said if you have direct deposit set up with the IRS, you may have already received your payment as early as March 12 of this year. If the IRS does not have direct deposit information on file for you, it will use information from other government agencies to make your payment. 

If you’re a veteran and don’t have a bank account, the VA has a program to help you set up a banking account to receive your VA benefits. With stimulus payments going out over the next week to VA beneficiaries, it may be too late to direct the check to a new account, however.

$100 bills

Those who receive VA benefits should look for a stimulus check soon.

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Who is a qualified dependent?

With the third check, any dependent you claim is eligible to count toward $1,400 going to the family total. Dependents do not receive their own stimulus checks. (Here’s who the IRS considers an adult eligible for a stimulus check.) With the first two rounds of payments, those who received federal benefits had to take an extra step to receive money for dependents, and you may also need to file a 2020 tax form (for free) to claim your dependents for the third stimulus check. That includes babies born in 2020.

Does the stimulus payment lower your VA benefits?

No. The VA said it won’t count any money received as part of the stimulus package as income for determining benefits. For example, if your family of four receives $5,600 in a stimulus check, that amount has no bearing on your usual benefits.

What about the child tax credit?

One source of money you could see in the new American Rescue Plan is an expansion of the child tax credit. For a child age 5 years and younger, parents and caregivers can receive up to $3,600 per child this year. For each kid between the ages of 6 and 17, parents and caregivers can receive up to $3,000. Here’s what we know about the CTC, including more child qualification details and when the payments could arrive.

What about federal unemployment?

The new stimulus bill also renews federal unemployment benefits. The $300 weekly checks will run till Sept. 6. Here’s more information on the unemployment checks.

Can you still get the first or second stimulus checks?

Yes, according to the VA. You’ll need to file a tax return this year and request a Recovery Rebate Credit on the tax form for any missing money you were owed from the first and second stimulus paymentsSee our guide to the first round of checks if you need more details. Here are the main differences between all three stimulus checks.

Here’s more on what we know about the third stimulus check for those who receive federal benefits, how to track your stimulus check and how to make sure you got the right amount of money.

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