April 2nd, 2020
Contact: Linda Benesch, [email protected]socialsecurityworks.org

(Washington, DC) — The following is a statement from Nancy Altman, President of Social Security Works, in response to last night’s announcement from the Treasury Department, reversing earlier IRS guidance, that Social Security beneficiaries will now automatically get their $1200 CARES Act payments without the need to file a tax return:

“Under pressure from activists around the country, alongside many members of Congress, the Trump administration has reversed the cruel and needless requirement for Social Security beneficiaries to file a tax return to receive their $1200 CARES Act emergency payments.

The Treasury Department now says — as it should have from the start — that Social Security beneficiaries will receive the payments automatically. We will be watching to make sure this happens quickly.

Our nation’s seniors and people with disabilities, who are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, need to be the highest priority right now — not the disbursement of the $500 billion corporate slush fund also included in the CARES Act. We urge the Administration to work hard not just to get the payments out immediately but also to clean up any confusion its misguided policy caused before the reversal.

Additionally, the Trump administration is still requiring recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Pensions to file a tax return, unless they are also Social Security beneficiaries. This is entirely unacceptable. Our government has the tools to send these groups, who are among the poorest and most vulnerable in America, their benefits automatically. It must reverse this part of its misguided policy, as well, and prioritize these payments, too.”