For $500 Coronavirus Child Credit, Act ASAP if You Get Social Security, SSI

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If you’re a non-tax filer who gets government benefits like Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and can claim a child 16 or younger as your dependent, there’s a tight deadline that you need to know about:

To get the $500 child credit with your coronavirus relief check, you need to head to and use the non-filer tool to enter a few pieces of basic information by noon EST on Wednesday, April 22.

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The deadline applies to those receiving Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, SSI and Veterans Affairs benefits who didn’t file a tax return in the last two years and have one or more dependent child age 16 or younger. 

Wondering why you’re just hearing about this? You didn’t miss the memo. The IRS just announced the deadline yesterday, April 20.

Why Do I Need to Use the Non-filer Tool for the Child Credit?

If you get any of the benefits listed above, the IRS is working with the relevant agency to determine your eligibility and process your payment. So the $1,200 you’ll get for yourself is processed automatically. You don’t need to take any action on that front.

But the IRS won’t automatically get information about your dependents from those agencies. So you need to enter their information ASAP to get the $500-per-child credit.

What Information Do I Need to Use the Non-filer Tool?

Using the non-filer tool is pretty quick and painless. You’ll know most of the information you need to provide off the top of your head. One exception may be the Social Security numbers of your kids, so take a moment to gather that information.

You’ll need to enter the following information about yourself:

  • Name
  • Mailing address and email address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Bank account number and routing number, if you have one
  • Identity Protection PIN if you received one from the IRS earlier this year. (This is a six-digit number that the IRS may have given you if you were the victim of identity theft and your account issues have been resolved.)
  • Driver’s license or state ID number, if you have one

For each dependent child age 16 or younger, you’ll need to provide their:

  • Name
  • Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification number
  • Relationship to you and your spouse

What Happens to My $500 Credit if I Don’t Enter My Info Before the Deadline?

You’ll still be able to claim the credit, but you won’t get it with your coronavirus check. You’d need to file a 2020 tax return next year. Then, you’d receive $500 as a credit.

Even if you have to wait on the $500 credit for your children, you won’t have to wait on your own coronavirus check. You can expect your stimulus check by the end of April if you’re on Social Security, or by early May at the latest if you’re on SSI.

But if you’re reading this before the deadline, take advantage of the non-filer tool ASAP. We promise: Getting that $500 sooner will only cost you a few minutes of your time.

Robin Hartill is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder and a certified financial planner. She writes the Dear Penny personal finance advice column.