Stabenow, Peters call on Trump administration to ensure veterans, SSI beneficiaries receive stimulus automatically

DETROIT — U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow are calling on the Trump administration to issue stimulus checks automatically to recipients of benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Supplemental Security Income program. In their letter, the the Michigan Democratic senators point out that these are two groups with large amounts of non-filers and groups that the federal government has the data necessary to deliver the stimulus checks automatically.

The Senators’ letter follows their successful efforts this week to push the U.S. Treasury Department to automatically send Social Security recipients direct cash assistance included in the CARES Act without having to file tax returns.

“We write requesting that you again use your authority to provide stimulus payments automatically to recipients of benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Supplemental Security Income program, without requiring them to file a tax return. This is the fastest, most-effective way to provide desperately needed help to more than 3 million low-income veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities,” the senators wrote.

The Department of the Treasury announced on April 1 that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an economic impact payment. The Internal Revenue Service will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 to generate $1,200 economic impact payments to Social Security beneficiaries who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019.

Treasury, not Social Security, will make automatic payments to Social Security beneficiaries. Beneficiaries will receive these payments by direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their Social Security benefits.

“We are working closely with Treasury to address outstanding questions about our SSI recipients in an attempt to make the issuance of economic impact payments as quick and efficient as possible,” said Andrew Saul, commissioner of the Social Security Administration. “We realize people are concerned, and the IRS will provide additional information on their web page when available. Please note that we will not consider economic impact payments as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.”

The SSI program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.


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