Older adults and third stimulus checks: Eligibility rules and what they mean for you
The IRS continues to send batches of the third stimulus check. If you're 65 or older, here's what to know about qualifications, income, SSI, SSDI and retirement, and what to do if you're still missing stimulus money from the first two checks.
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The IRS is in the middle of sending the next wave of third stimulus payments to those who are eligible for the payment. And if you're age 65 or older, you receive Social Security benefits or you're a veteran, you will likely receive a $1,400 check (track your payment here). It may be different, however, for individuals with "high" income levels from investments or other sources.
Anyone aged 65 or older at the end of 2020 is considered a senior adult on their taxes that year and beyond. (If you have questions about citizenship requirements, see more below.) The IRS notes you are considered age 65 on the day before your 65th birthday.
How do I know if I'm eligible for a third stimulus payment?
If you have a pension or investments that are taxable, those will affect your AGI, and therefore your eligibility for a stimulus check. The same is true for interest from a bank account. Interest from tax-exempt bonds isn't included in your AGI, however, so it wouldn't affect your stimulus payment eligibility.
For the third stimulus check, some of the eligibility rules changed in the final version of the bill -- read on for more, and use our third stimulus check calculator to see if you qualify based on income limits. Here are stimulus calculators for the first and second checks, respectively.
Watch this: Stimulus check 3: How much money you'll get
If I'm eligible for a third payment, how much money will I get?
There are several ways that qualifications change with a third stimulus check. The new law includes a payment of up to $1,400 for all dependents, no matter their age, to be added on to the household's total. That means if you support an adult dependent -- a college student, for example -- you may be able to get a larger stimulus payment this round.
Can I get a stimulus payment if someone claims me as an adult dependent on their tax return?
Some older people may count as a dependent on someone else's taxes, called a "qualifying relative." For example, you may live with your children. In terms of stimulus check qualifications, the main tax filer would've had to claim you as a dependent on their tax form 1040.
A qualifying relative can be any age. To be counted as a qualifying relative on someone's tax return, the person must meet four criteria. They...
Live with the family member all year as a member of the household, or count as a relative who doesn't have to live with the family member all year (such as a parent or grandparent, a stepparent or a sibling).
Must have a gross income for the year of less than $4,200.
Must have more than half of their support during the year come from the family member.
If you were a dependent on someone else's taxes and were over the age of 16, you weren't qualified for any stimulus money at all in the first or second round of stimulus checks. The new law, however, allows dependents of all ages to be eligible to add up to $1,400 to the household's total payment.
I'm a nonfiler. Do I have to file taxes this year to receive my stimulus money?
If your citizenship status has changed since you first got a Social Security number, you may have to update the IRS' records to get your check. US citizens living abroad were also eligible for a first payment.
For the third payment, the new law includes checks for "mixed-status" citizenship families -- families with members with different immigration statuses -- who were left out of the first two checks.
I never got the money I was owed from the first or second stimulus payments. Can I claim it on my taxes?