U.S. Senator Bennet, Hassan, Brown, Booker Lead Push to Ensure Families Receive Promised COVID-19 Stimulus Payments for Their Children as Quickly as Possible 

Letter Follows Treasury Announcement that Gave Families Less Than 48 Hours Notice to Enter Additional Information to Receive $500 COVID-19 Payment Per Child This Year

Denver – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) led a group of 40 senators in calling on the U.S. Treasury Department to take action to ensure that families who are not required to file taxes and will automatically receive their Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) stimulus payment do not need to wait until next year to receive the additional $500 payment per dependent child that they were promised.

“We write to express our concern that without additional action from your agencies, many families who receive Social Security benefits and have young children may not receive the full cash assistance that Congress provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act until 2021,” wrote Bennet and his colleagues in the letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul. “We urge your agencies to ensure that economically vulnerable non-filers receiving Social Security retirement, Social Security disability, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Veterans Administration benefits receive stimulus payments for themselves and their dependent children as quickly as possible – before next year.”

The letter follows the Treasury’s announcement on Monday that families on Social Security who do not file tax returns needed to enter additional information on the IRS website within 48 hours in order to receive the $500 payment per dependent child that they are entitled to, and that if they missed the deadline, they would not receive the additional payment until 2021. The Treasury’s announcement also indicated that they will soon set a similar deadline for recipients of Supplemental Security Income and certain Department of Veterans Affairs benefits who do not usually file taxes.

To remedy this issue, Bennet and the senators continued: “We request that Treasury find another way forward that – without delaying any automatic $1,200 payments – ensures that these Social Security beneficiaries and their children quickly receive the full amount of cash assistance for which they are eligible. We urge your agencies to continue providing access to the Non-Filers tool after non-filers have received their initial automatic stimulus payments, so that these economically vulnerable individuals can request and receive additional payments for dependent children prior to 2021.”

The senators’ letter follows successful efforts by Bennet and his colleagues to ensure that Social SecuritySupplemental Security Income, and VA beneficiaries who do not normally file taxes could receive their payments automatically.

The text of the letter is available HERE and below.

Dear Secretary Mnuchin and Commissioner Saul:

We write to express our concern that without additional action from your agencies, many families who receive Social Security benefits and have young children may not receive the full cash assistance that Congress provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act until 2021. Based on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance from Monday afternoon,[1] it appears that many Social Security beneficiaries will need to have submitted information about their dependents by yesterday at noon in order to receive their $500 additional stimulus payment per child before next year. Many eligible families will not have been able to meet this short, 48-hour deadline. We urge your agencies to ensure that economically vulnerable non-filers receiving Social Security retirement, Social Security disability, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits receive stimulus payments for themselves and their dependent children as quickly as possible – before next year.

The bipartisan CARES Act recently signed by the President provides direct cash assistance to individuals amidst the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis. The Act provides $1,200 per eligible adult and an additional $500 in cash assistance per dependent child. Three weeks ago, Treasury indicated that Social Security recipients who do not typically file taxes would have to file this year in order to receive these cash payments. The Treasury then reversed course two days later, after we urged the Department to do so,[2] with Secretary Mnuchin saying that “Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to take an action,” and would receive direct deposits to their bank accounts.[3]

However, on Monday, April 20, the Treasury announced that many Social Security beneficiaries would need to fill out a simplified tax form within 48 hours in order to receive their families’ full stimulus payments this year. The special alert published by the IRS indicated that Social Security beneficiaries who will automatically receive stimulus payments because they do not typically file tax returns would be required to submit information through the IRS Non-Filers online tool in order to claim $500 payments for their dependent children. According to the IRS, Social Security beneficiaries who failed to claim these dependent payments by noon yesterday, April 22, will no longer be able to use the Non-Filers tool to claim payments for their dependents. The IRS also indicated that recipients of SSI and certain VA benefits who do not usually file taxes will face a similar deadline soon. Any of these non-filers who miss these deadlines to claim their dependents will not be able to receive any payments for dependent children until filing a 2020 tax return in 2021. Estimates indicate this could impact the families of about 1 million child dependents.[4]

We request that Treasury find another way forward that – without delaying any automatic $1,200 payments – ensures that these Social Security beneficiaries and their children quickly receive the full amount of cash assistance for which they are eligible. We urge your agencies to continue providing access to the Non-Filers tool after non-filers have received their initial automatic stimulus payments, so that these economically vulnerable individuals can request and receive additional payments for dependent children prior to 2021. We do not believe that the IRS needs to delay – nor would we support delaying – any automatic $1,200 payments to non-filers in order to achieve this goal.

We greatly appreciate your agencies’ efforts to automatically provide stimulus payments to Social Security retirement, Social Security disability, SSI, and VA beneficiaries who do not file tax returns. We also appreciate Treasury’s efforts to assist non-filers with claiming stimulus payments through the Non-Filers tool. Without these efforts, many non-filers would have missed out on their stimulus payments altogether because they were unable to file a tax return or were unaware they needed to. To continue assisting struggling families during the COVID-19 crisis, we strongly urge your agencies to ensure that non-filers receive their stimulus payments – including additional payments for dependent children – as quickly as possible.

Sincerely,

SOURCE

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.