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Economic Impact Payments: How low- and no-income Veterans can receive theirs now

June 21, 2021

illustration of hand holding stimulus check After a difficult and uncertain year, it remains as important as ever to ensure that all Veterans are receiving the support that they have earned and deserve. Veterans who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness face a particular set of challenges trying to remain healthy and safe during the pandemic as they work to secure stable housing. But help is here.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in partnership with other government agencies, is working tirelessly to connect Veterans with their COVID-19-related benefits.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, three sets of Economic Impact Payments (EIP), commonly referred to as “stimulus checks,” have been issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide financial support and relief to individuals and families. The most recent checks were authorized by the American Rescue Plan, enacted on March 11, 2021. Eligible individuals can receive up to $1,400; married couples filing jointly can receive up to $2,800. An additional $1,400 is provided for each qualifying dependent.

Veterans can qualify for an EIP even if they have low or no earned income, are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, or receive VA benefits. Although most eligible Veterans should have received their third EIP automatically, the IRS may not have enough information to issue a payment to certain benefit recipients, such as those who did not file a tax return last year and those without a fixed address.

How to receive your payment

Veterans who did not receive their EIPs may be eligible to use the Recovery Rebate Credit to claim their relief payments. To do so, Veterans must file a 2020 tax return, even if they are not otherwise required to file. The IRS offers a free and easy-to-use tax return preparation site for eligible tax filers, including Veterans who are experiencing, transitioning from, or at risk of homelessness.

Veterans can also visit IRS.gov/filing to find information about the following:

Veterans can also contact their local Community Resource and Referral Center for answers to their questions, assistance with filing, or other support needed to access their VA and non-VA benefits.

“As a result of financial hardships caused by COVID-19, helping Veterans access permanent housing and rapid rehousing services is more important now than ever,” said Monica Diaz, executive director of the VA Homeless Programs Office. “COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments are critical in promoting housing stability and helping vulnerable Veterans avoid housing crises during this unprecedented time.”
New IRS tool can be used to access stimulus checks

The Non-filter Sign-Up Tool is designed to help eligible people experiencing homelessness who usually do not file income tax returns, do the following:

  • Claim Child Tax Credits granted under the American Rescue Plan
  • Register for the $1,400 third round of Economic Impact Payments
  • Claim the Recovery Rebate Credit for any amount of the first two rounds of Economic Impact Payments they may have missed

Providers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the tool as soon as possible.

Learn more about using the Sign-Up Tool.

More information

  • Additional information and details about the third Economic Impact Payment can be found on the IRS's Updated details on the third round of Economic Impact Payments webpage.
  • Learn how you can access your stimulus checks and more through this video from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
  • Veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness should contact the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans at 877-4AID-VET (877-424-3838).
  • Subscribe to the Homeless Programs Office newsletter to receive monthly updates about programs and supportive services for Veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
  • Visit VA's COVID-19 Resource Page for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and related resources for Veterans experiencing homelessness.