Capitol Correspondence - 04.13.20

Administration Creates Online Portal to Help Social Security Income, Veterans Affairs Beneficiaries Receive Stimulus Payments

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Following advocacy by the disability community, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) took steps to correct an oversight in their distribution of $1,200 economic stimulus checks to each adult in the US as required by the CARES Act. Originally, while people who regularly file taxes could automatically receive the funds, SSA beneficiaries as well as Social Security Income (SSI) and certain Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiaries had to file a simple income tax form to receive the form.

The SSA and IRS later took steps to automatically disburse checks to SSA beneficiaries, but this did not include SSI and VA beneficiaries. SSI is one of the principal programs supporting individuals with disabilities. Because individuals with disabilities, their loved ones and those who support them spoke up about the challenges of filing tax returns, the IRS set up an electronic portal so that SSI and VA beneficiaries can sign up for the stimulus funds instead – see the SSA press release on this topic here.

While disability organizations, including ANCOR, are glad to see progress made to facilitate individuals’ receipt of the checks, the portal still presents challenges to individuals with visual, auditory and cognitive disabilities. We will keep readers informed of our continued coalition efforts on this issue.