Lawmakers call for prompt payment of $1,400 stimulus checks to Social Security beneficiaries

Personal finance

Seniors, who are 65 and over, wait in line at the Department of Health Sarasota COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Sarasota, Florida, U.S. January 4, 2021.
Octavio Jones | Reuters

As $1,400 stimulus checks go out, some lawmakers are expressing concern that recipients of Social Security and other federal benefits have yet to get the money to which they are entitled.

Congressional Democrats, including Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, who serves as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, sent a letter to the IRS and Social Security Administration on Monday calling for “immediate attention to this urgent matter.”

Other committee leaders who signed the letter include Reps. John Larson, D-Conn.; Bill Pascrell, Jr., D-N.J.; and Danny Davis, D-Ill.

Delays have been reported in sending $1,400 stimulus checks to Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement Board and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who do not typically file tax returns, according to the lawmakers.

“The American Rescue Plan was intended to provide much-needed economic stimulus and assistance to people across the country — immediately — and we are counting on your agencies to ensure that beneficiaries are not left behind in the seamless delivery of those payments,” the lawmakers wrote.

“Some of our most vulnerable seniors and persons with disabilities, including veterans who served our country with honor, are unable to pay for basic necessities while they wait for their overdue payments,” they continued.

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The IRS has not provided a timeline for those payments, according to the letter. The lawmakers asked both agencies to come up with a schedule by Friday, March 26, for when federal beneficiaries will receive the money.

To date, the IRS has sent out about 90 million of the third stimulus checks, which amount to as much as $1,400 per person, provided people are within certain income thresholds and meet other qualifications.

A second batch of those $1,400 checks is due to arrive via direct deposit by Wednesday, while more payments have also been sent by mail as a paper check or prepaid debit card.

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