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Veterans Affairs recipients will receive $1,200 stimulus checks automatically

Advocates had warned a significant number of veterans and surviving family members could have missed out on stimulus checks if they had to register online.

WASHINGTON — Veterans who rely on federal benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs will no longer need to file with the IRS to get their coronavirus stimulus checks, the government announced Friday.

The move comes after lawmakers and veterans groups warned a significant number of disabled veterans and surviving family members could miss out on the direct payments because they typically don't file tax returns. 

The IRS said Friday that Veterans Affairs recipients will get "a $1,200 Economic Income Payment with no further action needed on their part. Timing on the payments is still being determined." 

"Additional programming work remains, but this step simplifies the process for VA recipients to quickly and easily receive these $1,200 payments automatically," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said. "We deeply appreciate the sacrifices and service to our country by each and every veteran and their families, as well as the assistance of VA and the Bureau of Fiscal Services in this effort.”

The Treasury Department says about 80 million Americans received their payments as of Wednesday.  

Last week, the IRS launched an online tool for households who typically don't file tax returns to register for their stimulus checks. 

Over the past few weeks, the IRS has taken similar action to ensure those receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement benefits can automatically receive their stimulus payments. 

The IRS said Friday that VA recipients will receive their stimulus checks the same way they receive their current benefits. 

However, those who receive benefits and have a dependent under the age of 17 will need to use the IRS non-filer tool to make sure they get the extra $500 per child that was included in the CARES Act. 

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