Last Updated 02/01/2023
Congress passed three rounds of stimulus checks for continued COVID relief. Read more about the first stimulus check (worth $1,200 or $500 for dependents), second stimulus check (worth $600 per person) and third stimulus check (worth $1,400 per person).
If you didn’t get all the stimulus checks you are eligible for, it’s not too late!
Eligibility requirements for the stimulus checks vary slightly. File a tax return if anyone in your household has a Social Security number. You are eligible for stimulus payments if:
- You (and your spouse, if filing jointly) are under the income limit.
- You are not claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.
- You or your spouse has a Social Security Number (SSN).
- You are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or qualifying resident alien.
Note: For the third stimulus check, you can receive $1,400 for each dependent with an SSN, even if you (and your spouse, if married) have Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs). More details on SSN requirements are discussed below.
The following chart compares income requirements for the three stimulus checks:
|Income to Receive Full Stimulus Payment (first, second, and third check)||First Stimulus Check Maximum Income Limit||Second Stimulus Check Maximum Income Limit||Third Stimulus Check Maximum Income Limit|
|Single Filer||$0 – $75,000||$99,000||$87,000||$80,000|
|Married Filing Jointly||$0 – $150,000||$198,000||$174,000||$160,000|
|Head of Household||$0 – $112,500||$136,500||$124,500||$120,000|
Social Security Number rules for the first and second stimulus checks
The eligibility rules differ for the third stimulus check and the first and second stimulus checks.
If you are not married and filing taxes as head of household, you must have an SSN to get the first and second stimulus checks.
If you are married filing jointly, only the spouse with the SSN will receive the first and second stimulus check. The exception to this rule is if one of you is in the military, then you are both eligible for both stimulus checks, even if one of you has an ITIN and one of you has an SSN.
Originally, both spouses need to have SSNs for the first stimulus check. If you and your spouse were denied your first stimulus payment because only one of you have an SSN, you can claim both the first and second stimulus checks as the Recovery Rebate Tax Credit on your 2020 tax return. See the chart and examples below for more on how this works.
Your children’s status does not affect your eligibility if you meet the other requirements. However, you will only get the additional payment for dependents – $500 (first stimulus check) or $600 (second stimulus check) – for children who have an SSN or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN), not an ITIN. A child must be related to you (by blood, marriage, or adoption), under the age of 17, live with you for over half the year in 2020, have a Social Security number, and be claimed as your dependent.
John and Mary are married and filed their taxes jointly. Mary has an SSN and John does not. Mary is eligible for a second stimulus check of $600 even though John is ineligible. Since the SSN rule change is retroactive, Mary can also get the first stimulus check of $1,200 as the Recovery Rebate Credit when she and John file their 2020 tax return
Social Security Number Rules for the Third Stimulus Check
Any family member that has a Social Security number (SSN) can qualify for the third stimulus check. For example, in a household where both parents have ITINs, and their children have SSNs, the children qualify for stimulus checks, even though the parents don’t.
You can claim the third stimulus check for dependents of any age who live with you, not only children. Dependents must have an SSN or ATIN.
Louis and Gloria are married and file their taxes jointly. Both Gloria and Louis have ITINs. They live with and provide for Gloria’s mother, Marta, who has an SSN. Louis and Gloria can receive a $1,400 stimulus check for Marta because she is their dependent.
|First and Second Stimulus Check||Third Stimulus Check|
|Mixed Status Family (Married Filing Jointly)||If one spouse doesn’t have an SSN, the spouse with an SSN and qualifying children with an SSN or ATIN can get stimulus.
|Any family member with an SSN or ATIN can get the stimulus.|
|Military Family (Married Filing Jointly)||If one spouse doesn’t have an SSN, both spouses can receive the stimulus (including the spouse without an SSN).||If one spouse doesn’t have an SSN, both spouses can receive the stimulus (including the spouse without an SSN).|
How to Get Missed Stimulus Checks
If you missed out on your stimulus checks, you could still get them. To get the first and second stimulus checks, you will need to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return by May 17, 2024. For the third stimulus check, claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2021 tax return by April 18, 2025.
If you already filed a 2020 or 2021 tax return and didn’t claim the Recovery Rebate Credit, you can amend your previous return to do so. If you electronically filed your return, you can e-file the amended return. If you mailed your tax return, you’ll need to mail your amended return to the IRS.
To get help filing a 2020 or 2021 tax return:
- Visit Code for America’s Get Your Refund website to connect with an IRS-certified volunteer that can help you file your taxes for free.
- Contact your local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide site to get free tax help from an IRS-certified volunteer. Call first to make sure the site files prior year returns.
If you’ve never filed taxes before, you will need to get an ITIN. The IRS requires tax filers to include a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) to process a tax return. If you don’t have an ITIN, it may take several weeks for the IRS to issue new ITINs or renew expired ones. Learn more about filing taxes with an ITIN.