Following Calls from Warner & Colleagues, Treasury Reverses Course and Says Social Security Beneficiaries Do Not Need to File Tax Returns to Receive COVID-19 Direct Cash Assistance
Apr 01 2020
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) applauded an announcement by the U.S. Treasury Department, which said that Social Security recipients will not need to file tax returns and will automatically receive the direct cash assistance included in the CARES Act.
This announcement follows a letter from Sen. Warner and 42 other colleagues, who raised alarms over guidance that the IRS issued earlier this week that said that Social Security beneficiaries would need to file tax returns in order to receive direct cash payments. This directly contradicted Congressional intent in drafting the CARES Act, which had made clear that the Treasury Department had the authority to send automatic direct cash assistance to Social Security beneficiaries regardless of whether they file taxes.
“The federal government should be making it easier – not harder – for our most vulnerable populations to get the assistance they need during this pandemic,” said Sen. Warner. “The folks who rely on Social Security are especially dependent on this help, as they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 and the economic fallout from this crisis. I’m pleased that the Treasury Department will no longer place an added burden on these individuals, and will instead get these dollars out quickly they way lawmakers intended when we passed the stimulus deal.”
In addition to Sen. Warner, the letter was signed by Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), as well as Bob Casey (D-PA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Thomas R. Carper (D-DE), Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Doug Jones (D-AL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Gary C. Peters (D-MI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Angus S. King, Jr. (I-ME), Tina Smith (D-MN), Christopher A. Coons (D-DE), Patty Murray (D-WA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).