Bill Specifically Addresses Issues for Social Security, VA, and Supplemental Security Income Beneficiaries
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) introduced the bipartisan Automatic Cash Assistance Act, which would ensure that Social Security, Veterans Affairs (VA), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries receive the COVID-19 relief stimulus payments that they are entitled to. The bill is supported by DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and Paralyzed Veterans of America.
The bill addresses two separate issues for these individuals. First, it instructs the Treasury Department to quickly send the $500 cash assistance per child to Social Security, VA, and SSI beneficiaries who have not received them. Currently, the Treasury Department has said that these beneficiaries who missed short IRS deadlines earlier this year will have to wait until they file a tax return next year to receive them.
Second, as Congress debates the next COVID-19 relief package, the bill also ensures that any future stimulus payments go out automatically to Social Security, VA, and SSI beneficiaries. Following bipartisan calls led by Senators Hassan, Collins, and Sinema, the Treasury did eventually agree to send these payments automatically during the first round of payments, and this bill ensures that any future payments would go out automatically without the confusion and uncertainty of the initial round of payments.
“As Congress provides direct assistance to Americans, the Treasury Department can and should remove any barriers to getting these payments for those who are most at risk – including veterans and families who receive VA benefits, older Americans on Social Security, and Americans who experience disabilities,” said Senator Hassan. “Our bill ensures that these families who are still waiting on their $500 payment per child don’t have to wait until next year to receive their payment. It also takes steps to help ensure that the overall stimulus payments process would be smoother for any future rounds.”
“Earlier this year, I joined a bipartisan group of Senators who successfully pushed to remove a bureaucratic hurdle that could have prevented certain veterans, seniors, and individuals with disabilities from receiving the recovery checks they were promised,” said Senator Collins. “This bipartisan bill would build on that effort by ensuring that all Social Security, Veterans Affairs, and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries will automatically receive any future coronavirus stimulus checks as quickly as possible.”
“Removing unnecessary barriers blocking Arizona seniors and veterans from getting direct payments helps ensure some of our most vulnerable citizens get needed support during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic,” said Senator Sinema.
This bipartisan bill is the latest in advocacy efforts from Senator Hassan and colleagues to get Americans the COVID-19 stimulus payments they are entitled to. As a result of efforts from Senators Hassan, Collins, and Sinema, more than 18 million Americans should have automatically received their $1,200 stimulus payments included in the bipartisan CARES Act without having to file tax returns. The Senators successfully called on the Treasury Department to issue stimulus payments automatically to those who receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income, and VA pension, disability, or survivor benefits.
Read the one-pager on the Senators’ bill here.