SSDI Stimulus Check Update—Social Security Admin Says 'Many Have Already Received' Payment

Many "Social Security beneficiaries have already received" their stimulus payments, the Social Security Administration (SSA) told Newsweek late Friday. Millions who receive federal benefits, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), were reported to be waiting for their stimulus funds last Wednesday.

Many federal benefit recipients who filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return or submitted their details using the "Non-Filers tool" on the website of the Internal Revenue Service "were included in the first two batches of payments, if eligible," the IRS said in a statement on March 24.

Asked when Social Security and other federal benefit recipients can expect to see their stimulus payments, a spokesperson for the SSA told Newsweek on Friday: "As you may already know, many Social Security beneficiaries have already received their EIPs [Economic Impact Payments]. 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 spokesperson referred Newsweek to the IRS press office for "specific answers" on an estimated timeline for these stimulus payments and other related queries.

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

On Wednesday, nearly 30 million 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.

The required paperwork was sent to the IRS on Thursday morning, two weeks after President Joe Biden's COVID-19 relief bill was signed into law on March 11.

On March 22, the IRS said it will "automatically" send stimulus payments to those who didn't file a tax return but receive Social Security retirement, SSDI, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement benefits or Veterans Affairs benefits.

"Social Security and other federal beneficiaries will generally receive this third payment the same way as their regular benefits," the federal body said.

Federal aid funds are usually distributed via Direct Express card accounts.

Direct Express has not provided an update on stimulus payments since their tweet on March 23, which said updates from the IRS on the timing of stimulus payments "are expected soon."

Latest from the IRS

For federal benefit recipients who did not file a tax return or did not use the Non-Filers tool, the federal body said last Wednesday that it is "working directly with the Social Security Administration, the Railroad Retirement Board, and the Veterans Administration to obtain updated 2021 information to ensure that as many people as possible are sent fast, automatic payments.

"More information about when these payments will be made will be provided on IRS. gov as soon as it becomes available."

The IRS also advised that some federal benefit recipients who don't normally file taxes may need to file a 2020 tax return in order for the federal body to send payments for any qualified dependents.

"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," it noted last Wednesday.

Latest from Social Security Administration

On Thursday, the SSA transferred the required paperwork to the IRS to facilitate stimulus payments. In a statement on Thursday, SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul claimed the delay was caused by a lack of staff funding.

He noted that the SSA was "not authorized to substantively engage [the] Treasury or IRS prior to the ARP's [American Rescue Plan] passage." He explained that "the Social Security Act does not allow the agency to use our administrative appropriation to conduct work on any non-mission provision or program."

Speaking to Newsweek, a spokesperson for the House Ways and Means Committee said Friday: "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.

In a statement on Thursday, Alex Lawson, the executive director of advocacy group Social Security Works, claimed that Saul and SSA Deputy Commissioner David Blac "are sabotaging the Biden administration by delaying relief checks."

Speaking to Newsweek on Friday, a spokesperson for SSA said Saul's statement on Thursday "strongly rebuts these baseless claims and outlines each step Social Security took to help IRS implement the American Rescue Plan Act."

Latest from Direct Express

In a tweet posted last Tuesday, Direct Express stated: "Updates from IRS on timing of stimulus payments for federal beneficiaries are expected soon.

"This includes information for DE cardholders who didn't file a tax return in 2019 or 2020. New info will be posted at as soon as possible."

Only current Direct Express card holders are eligible to receive the third stimulus payment on their card accounts. Those who don't currently have a Direct Express card cannot sign up for one at this time in order to receive the third stimulus payment.

The company said last Tuesday: "If an Economic Impact Payment is sent to an account that is closed or no longer active, then the payment will be returned and the IRS will reissue the payment."

Latest from NACHA

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 on March 18: "Unfortunately, it appears we don't know enough yet [about the stimulus payment date for recipients of SSDI/SSI].

"The only information we were given is that SSA rules require that legislation be passed before they can work to find eligibility and payment information."

Newsweek has contacted NACHA for comment.

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

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

Stimulus Package 1.9tn - Statista
Social Security office California 2020
A sign seen outside a U.S Social Security Administration building in Burbank, California on November 5, 2020. Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

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