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DeFazio Leads More Than 120 Lawmakers in Urging Trump Administration to Automatically Send Relief Payments to Vulnerable Seniors, Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities

Apr 3, 2020
Press Release

Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) today led more than 120 lawmakers in demanding that Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig, along with Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul and Veterans’ Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, automatically send stimulus payments to vulnerable seniors, veterans receiving pensions, and individuals with disabilities.

“After the 2008 financial crisis, 3.5 million of our nation’s most vulnerable did not receive a stimulus check because of bureaucratic red tape,” said Rep. DeFazio. “We cannot allow the same thing to happen now. Any delay in providing these urgently-needed funds will bring unnecessary harm during a public health crisis that has forced millions into economic uncertainty.”

As part of the economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 public health crisis, the IRS will automatically send economic stimulus checks to eligible taxpayers who filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return. However, many Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries, veterans who receive pensions, and Social Security beneficiaries, including retired seniors and individuals who experience disabilities, typically do not file tax returns, because they often do not owe taxes.

After bipartisan concerns were raised, Secretary Mnuchin announced on April 1 that Social Security beneficiaries will automatically receive their payments without filing a return. However, SSI beneficiaries and veterans who receive pensions still must file a return in order to obtain their payment.

For a PDF version of the letter, click here.