SSI Stimulus Check Update As IRS Employees 'Working Tirelessly' to Get Payments Out

The Internal Revenue Service has been "working tirelessly" to deliver stimulus payments "as quickly as possible" to recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other federal benefits, it said on Tuesday.

The IRS "began a series of calls" with the Social Security Administration (SSA) on January 14 to start distributing the funds, according to a letter received by the House Ways and Means Committee and shared with Newsweek.

Many federal benefit recipients who usually file tax returns received their stimulus payments earlier this month, according to the federal body.

The IRS expects to begin issuing payments this weekend for recipients of Social Security and other federal benefits who don't usually file a tax return, "with the projection that the majority of these payments would be sent electronically and received on April 7," it said on Tuesday.

In a statement to Newsweek late on Tuesday, the IRS said it "immediately began processing" the required payment files it received from the SSA last week, which were sent following pressure from the House Ways and Means Committee.

"IRS employees are working tirelessly to deliver Economic Impact Payments to the nation's taxpayers as quickly as possible. To this end, we were pleased to receive data on Thursday, March 25, from the Social Security Administration. Our teams immediately began processing that data through our systems.

"As the IRS works to compute eligibility, the size of payments and cross-match individuals for payments, we are well aware of the need for the fastest possible payments to these important groups," the IRS told Newsweek on Tuesday.

According to a March 26 letter sent by the IRS to the committee's chairman Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), which was shared with Newsweek, "the IRS received the SSA files on March 24 and 25."

The letter, signed by IRS Commissioner Charles P. Rettig, stated: "I assure you, we are working hard to meet the continuing needs of taxpayers and to provide relief or assistance whenever appropriate.

"As early as January 14, 2021, the IRS began a series of calls with SSA and other federal agencies so we could begin delivering payments as soon as possible once legislation passed.

"We provided guidance to these agencies on our improved approach for EIP3 and gave them specific formatting guidelines for submitting recipient information to minimize errors," the letter said.

The commissioner advised that the IRS intends to issue stimulus payments to eligible SSI, Social Security Disability Insurance and Railroad Retirement Board recipients "whose data is valid and consistent" in the first week of April.

For eligible Veteran Affairs benefit recipients, the IRS intends to distribute stimulus payments by the second week in April, "but we are exploring whether we can include them with the other recipients," the commissioner added.

The federal body will "automatically" send a third stimulus payment to those who didn't file a tax return but are recipients of Social Security and other federal benefits. But some recipients who don't usually file may have to complete a tax return this year to provide information on dependents.

"People in this group should file a 2020 tax return to be considered for an additional payment for their dependent as quickly as possible," the IRS said on March 22.

To check the status of your payment, use the Get My Payment tool at the IRS website.

On March 24, nearly 30 million people were reported to be still waiting to receive their stimulus because the SSA had "not sent the necessary payment files" to the IRS, according to a letter from the House Ways and Means Committee.

In a statement on March 25, SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul claimed the delay was caused by a lack of staff funding.

The graphic below, produced by Statista, shows how the $1.9 trillion in the American Rescue Plan is being spent.

Stimulus Package 1.9tn - Statista
IRS building in Washington, D.C. 2019
The Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, D.C., seen in January 2019. The IRS expects to begin issuing stimulus payments this weekend for benefit recipients who do not file tax returns. Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images