April 16th Update: Advocacy works! Because of you our veterans, low-income seniors & Americans with disabilities on SSI will receive automatic stimulus payments without being asked to jump through any new hoops
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the ‘‘CARES Act” is designed to help our nation during the COVID-19 crisis. As many of you may know, the CARES Act includes funding for direct stimulus payments to qualifying Americans.
These payments are to be paid via direct deposit or paper checks, with income verification based on previous tax returns. Which, is understandable, if you are like the majority of Americans that file taxes every year.
But over three million Veterans and Social Supplemental Income (SSI) recipients simply do not meet the federal minimum income requirement to necessitate filing taxes. The government does not require them to do so, and moreover – tax filing is an added and unnecessary expense for individuals with cost-restrictive incomes.
So, how will the most vulnerable receive a stimulus check if they are not required to file their taxes?
Fortunately, the Treasure Department (“Treasury”) already figured out how to do this for other groups. On April 1st, the Treasury made it clear they would automatically extend stimulus payments to Social Security and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries that have not filed taxes. By cross-referencing the agencies’ data with the Treasury’s own data (of those that have or have not filed) they were able to compile the needed information to issue these checks.
As of this letter, the Treasury Department has not put forward a plan to automatically issue stimulus payments to Veterans’ Administration beneficiaries, very-low income seniors, and people with disabilities receiving SSI.
These agencies already know how to do it, having done it just last week.
Whether this affects you directly, and/or someone you care about; help us tell Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Veteran’s Affairs Secretary Wilkie, and Social Security Commissioner Saul: Treasury should not require people with disabilities and low-income veterans and seniors to file a form to receive stimulus payments when the federal government already has the information it needs. The checks are a critical lifeline needed for the most vulnerable among us.
Please click here for a quick way to email the above leaders, and make your voice heard: http://cqrcengage.com/actionnetwork/app/take-action?engagementId=506927