NLIHC joined a sign-on letter on April 21 urging Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to eliminate a sudden deadline for Social Security beneficiaries to file taxes or use a new web tool from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to claim Economic Impact Payments for eligible children.
The “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stability (CARES) Act” authorized one-time direct payments from the federal government known as Economic Impact Payments (EIPs). Eligible individuals can receive up to $1,200, plus $500 per dependent child under the age of 17. Guidance from the Treasury noted that people who filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 and recipients of Social Security retirement benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance, survivor benefits, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement benefits, or Veteran Administration benefits would have their EIPs sent directly into their account or mailed to the address on-file with the government.
However, benefits recipients who had not filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 and who have eligible children must register their eligible children using an online filing tool from the IRS. On April 20, the IRS announced that Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefit recipients who have not filed a tax return must register their eligible children by April 22 in order to receive the $500 per child to which they are entitled. Recipients who missed this deadline will still receive their $1,200 EIP but will need to file a tax return for 2020 to claim their additional $500 per eligible child.
The letter, authored by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), points out that the IRS’s web tool “is not useable via most cell phones and…is not compatible with some screen-reader programs used by people who are blind or have visual impairments.” Moreover, the web tool “is an internet-only solution that has not taken into account the needs of people who do not have regular access to the internet.” The letter asserts that the sudden, short deadline “[fails] people with disabilities, their children, and other Social Security beneficiaries with eligible children,” and urges the agencies to eliminate the April 22 deadline and instead make payments on a rolling basis as people are able to submit their information to the web tool.
Read the CCD’s letter at: https://bit.ly/2yG8SFW
Read the IRS press release at: https://bit.ly/3asZgf2
Read NLIHC’s fact sheet on EIPs at: https://bit.ly/2VM4EEA