Congressman Cohen Announces Trump Administration Will Partially Correct Misguided Rules for Distributing Economic Impact Payments

April 2, 2020
Press Release
Social Security recipients no longer required to file a tax return to qualify

MEMPHIS -- Over the past several weeks, Congressman Cohen’s office has received a flood of calls from constituents regarding their ability to receive the economic stimulus payments that Congress passed as part of the CARES Act. Social Security recipients, those who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other individuals who do not typically file taxes were told they would be required to go through additional hurdles in order to receive this much-needed aid. Then, in a partial reversal, the Treasury Department announced last night that it will automatically disperse these payments using the banking information that the Social Security Administration already has on file for Social Security recipients who do not otherwise file taxes. However, this still does not cover recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans benefits.

 

Congressman Cohen made the following statement:

 

“I am relieved that the Treasury Department has moved toward following the language passed in the CARES Act, which explicitly authorizes the Treasury to send out the economic stimulus payments to Social Security recipients without forcing them to file taxes. Unfortunately, this reversal does not cover recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans benefits, meaning millions of low-income individuals may still be excluded from this aid. To address this issue, I have sent a letter along with my colleagues urging the Trump administration to extend automatic payments to these individuals.

 

“Requiring tax returns from people who do not owe taxes would place a prohibitive and unnecessary burden on those most in need of this aid, many of whom lack access to the internet and other resources. The stimulus checks sent out in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis left out 3.5 million Social Security recipients because they did not submit a tax return, and I am deeply concerned we may be repeating this mistake.

 

“We must go further to include and provide for all Americans, particularly low-income individuals, the elderly and people with disabilities. As we move forward with the fourth phase of the coronavirus response, Democrats will prioritize remedying these gaps and supporting everyday Americans.”