Veterans and their families who missed out on coronavirus pandemic relief checks in the spring now have a second chance to claim their payments.
The Department of Veterans Affairs, in a Facebook post on Friday morning, urged veterans and their families who may be eligible for payments to contact the Internal Revenue Service to check if they are owed any money. The IRS announcement was first reported by Military Times.
Specifically, the IRS has reopened registration for federal beneficiaries who did not previously receive the $500 per child credit payments earlier this year, part of the massive emergency spending package Congress passed in response to the pandemic.
Now, veterans and their families have until Sept. 30 to register for the missed relief payments -- both the child credits and the original $1,200 payments -- and the IRS said those checks could start rolling out as early as October. Veterans can head to the IRS non-filers tool up to the deadline to enter information on their children to see if they qualify to receive the supplemental $500 payments.
Not all veterans or their families file annual taxes, especially if they receive disability benefits, pensions or survivor benefits. But the government primarily used prior tax filings to determine eligibility and where to send the federal coronavirus relief payments.
This excluded some veterans who do not typically meet the threshold that requires them to file annual taxes had to fill out additional forms online to get their payments, and the IRS scrambled to get the initial $1,200 relief checks to those vets, especially those for whom the IRS did not have recent addresses or bank account information.
It's unclear how many veterans were excluded, and officials did not provide a count, but advocates warned in the spring that it could be thousands, if not millions.
After prompting from veteran advocates and lawmakers, the IRS and VA eventually partnered to use veterans' records to identify those eligible and send out the payments. But even that didn't cover everyone who might have been eligible for the additional $500 per child payments.
The IRS created a separate website for veterans and others who don't usually file taxes, but set a deadline in early May, saying that those who miss the deadline would likely have to wait until 2021 to receive their relief payments as part of their tax returns. The IRS appeared to reverse that decision last week, when it reopened the application process and website.
To fill out the information needed to receive a payment, or find out if you are eligible, click here.