Social Security Beneficiaries Still Waiting for Third Stimulus Checks
by Jim Bea Sampaga
While most Americans have already received their third stimulus checks as early as St. Patrick’s Day, nearly 30 million Social Security beneficiaries are still waiting for their checks.
The House Ways and Means Committee wrote a letter on March 24 to the Social Security Administration (SSA) commissioner urging the agency to provide the Internal Revenue Service the necessary beneficiary information to deliver the economic impact payments (EIP).
“SSA still has not provided IRS with the payment files that are needed to issue EIPs to these struggling Americans,” the letter says.
“We demand that you immediately provide the IRS with this information by March 25, 2021.”
On March 25, SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul released a statement announcing that the agency already sent the files that same day:
“On March 22, SSA sent initial test files to IRS. IRS confirmed testing success on Wednesday, March 24. Production files were delivered to IRS before 9 AM on Thursday, March 25 – more than a week sooner than we were able to provide a similar file to IRS during the first round of EIPs.”
The commissioner further explained that SSA’s delay in sending the necessary files.
“SSA discussed with Treasury and IRS, both before passage and after enactment of the ARP Act, 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. Accordingly, we were not authorized to substantively engage Treasury or IRS prior to the ARP’s passage,” wrote Saul noting that SSA did not receive funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to support their work on EIPs.
With the hurdles of getting the required interagency agreements to collaborate on the EIPs, Saul said they “kept congressional staff apprised of the hurdles this approach would create for SSA.”
Once they were cleared to move forward, SSA “aggressively worked” with the IRS and Department of Treasury to issue stimulus checks to its beneficiaries.
Although the official SSA commissioner statement confirmed the delivery of files, there is no mention of a timeframe when beneficiaries will finally receive their stimulus checks.
In a statement to CBS MoneyWatch, the IRS said the payments will be sent “soon.”
“We will provide a more detailed update regarding these payments very shortly as pans are finalized,” the agency added.
As the IRS are preparing the rest of the stimulus checks, eligible recipients can check their stimulus payment status at irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.