April 23, 2020

Wyden Pushes to Ensure Families Receive Promised COVID-19 Stimulus Payments for Their Children as Quickly as Possible

Letter Follows Treasury Announcement that Gave Families Less Than 48 Hours’ Notice to Enter Additional Information to Receive $500 COVID-19 Payment Per Child This Year

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today called on the Trump administration to ensure that families who are not required to file taxes, like families who receive Social Security benefits, do not need to wait until next year to receive the additional $500 payment per dependent child they were promised.

“We write to express our concern that without additional action from your agencies, many families who receive Social Security benefits and have young children may not receive the full cash assistance that Congress provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act until 2021,” Wyden and a group of 39 other senators wrote in a letter to the Treasury Department and Social Security Administration. “We urge your agencies to ensure that economically vulnerable non-filers receiving Social Security retirement, Social Security disability, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits receive stimulus payments for themselves and their dependent children as quickly as possible – before next year.”

The letter follows the Treasury Department’s announcement on Monday that families on Social Security who do not file tax returns needed to enter additional information on the IRS website within 48 hours in order to receive the $500 payment per dependent child to which they are entitled. If families missed the short deadline, they would not receive the additional payment until 2021. Treasury’s announcement also indicated that they will soon set a similar deadline for recipients of Supplemental Security Income and certain Department of Veterans Affairs benefits who do not usually file taxes.

To remedy this issue, the senators wrote, “We request that Treasury find another way forward that – without delaying any automatic $1,200 payments – ensures that these Social Security beneficiaries and their children quickly receive the full amount of cash assistance for which they are eligible. We urge your agencies to continue providing access to the Non-Filers tool after non-filers have received their initial automatic stimulus payments, so that these economically vulnerable individuals can request and receive additional payments for dependent children prior to 2021.”

The senators’ letter follows up on successful efforts by Wyden to ensure that Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and VA beneficiaries who do not normally file taxes could receive their payments automatically.

In addition to Wyden, the letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., Robert P. Casey, Jr., D-Pa., Mark R. Warner, D-Va., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Doug Jones, D-Ala., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Tom Udall, D-N.M., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., Kamala D. Harris, D-Calif., Jack Reed, D-R.I., Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Angus S. King, Jr., I-Maine, Gary C. Peters, D-Mich., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc.

A copy of the letter is available here.