SSI Stimulus Check Update as IRS Stays Silent Over Payments For Social Security Recipients

Many recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other federal benefits are still waiting to receive their stimulus fund. The Internal Revenue Service has yet to announce a payment date, as of Tuesday.

The Social Security Administration website currently advises: "The IRS has not announced when it will begin paying EIPs [Economic Impact Payments] to Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income recipients."

On March 25, the SSA provided the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with the paperwork needed for stimulus payments to be issued to federal benefit recipients following pressure from the House Ways and Means Committee. The IRS has yet to respond to Newsweek's requests for a comment since the SSA sent the required paperwork.

The SSA website also currently states that "the IRS decided to pay EIPs [Economic Impact Payments] first only to people who filed a 2020 or 2019 tax return, and to people who used the IRS' Non-Filer Tool to receive a previous EIP. Some Social Security beneficiaries may have received a recent EIP if they filed a tax return with the IRS."

It has yet to be confirmed how many stimulus payments for federal benefit recipients may have been sent out by the IRS and how many payments will be made to those who didn't file a tax return or use the "Non-Filers" tool.

Asked whether it had received any information on a stimulus payment date for federal benefit recipients, a spokesperson for NACHA (National Automated Clearing House Association), which manages the ACH Network, the national automated clearing house for electronic funds transfers, told Newsweek this Monday: "We haven't gotten anything."

Newsweek has contacted the IRS, the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Bureau of the Fiscal Service for comment.

Federal benefit recipients would generally receive their stimulus payment in the "same way as their regular benefits," the IRS said last Monday. Federal aid funds are usually distributed via a Direct Express card account.

According to the SSA website, "the IRS may send your next EIP by check in the mail" to those who received a previous stimulus payment as a prepaid debit card and not via their Direct Express card account.

Direct Express has provided no update regarding stimulus payments since March 23, when it advised that updates from the IRS on the timing of stimulus payments "are expected soon."

Latest from IRS

In a statement on March 24, the IRS noted that many federal benefit recipients who filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return or submitted their details using the Non-Filers tool at its website "were included in the first two batches of payments, if eligible."

"More information about when these payments will be made will be provided on IRS. gov as soon as it becomes available," the IRS said in the March 24 statement.

The IRS will "automatically" send third stimulus funds 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 normally file taxes may have to file a tax return this year to provide information the IRS needs to make stimulus payments for any qualified dependent.

"If your third payment does not include a payment for your qualified dependent who did not receive a third payment, you must file a 2020 tax return to be considered for an additional third payment even if you don't normally file," the IRS explained on March 4.

"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 federal body said on March 22.

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

Latest from Social Security Administration

The SSA website currently advises: "Please refer to the IRS' website for the latest information about economic impact payments (EIP). Please do not contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) with questions about EIPs. Our representatives do not have information to answer your EIP questions. The IRS, not SSA, processes all EIPs."

A spokesperson for the SSA told Newsweek on March 26: "As you may already know, many Social Security beneficiaries have already received their EIPs. The final files we sent to IRS yesterday morning [Thursday] will address those recipients who don't normally file a tax return with the IRS."

The SSA spokesperson referred Newsweek to the IRS press office for "specific answers" on an estimated timeline for these stimulus payments and other related queries.

The SSA website also states that federal benefit recipients can receive their stimulus payment on their Direct Express card if the following apply:

  • They did not file a 2020 or 2019 tax return;
  • They did not use the IRS' Non-Filer Tool to provide information to receive a previous EIP; and
  • They receive their monthly Social Security benefit or SSI payment on their Direct Express card.

"If you received a previous EIP by an EIP debit card, not your Direct Express Card, the IRS may send your next EIP by check in the mail," according to the SSA website.

On March 24, nearly 30 million people were reported to be waiting to receive their stimulus payments because the SSA had "not sent the necessary payment files" to the IRS, according to a letter sent to the SSA last Wednesday by 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.

Speaking to Newsweek on March 25, a spokesperson for the committee said: "On background from a Committee aide, funds could not be directly appropriated because of the reconciliation process, but they were appropriated to Treasury with the intent that they would be distributed to SSA in a timely manner, so this line of defense doesn't hold.

"It inexplicably took two weeks for the transfer to happen after the American Rescue Plan was signed into law, which is a clear failure of leadership from SSA," the spokesperson added.

Newsweek has contacted the committee for comment on the stimulus payment status for federal benefit recipients.

The graphic below, produced by Statista, shows what's in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

IRS Washington, D.C.
The exterior of an Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, D.C., pictured in March 12016. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images
Stimulus Package 1.9tn - Statista

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