Tens of millions of lower-income Americans are still waiting for their stimulus checks, but some progress has been made towards paying them.
Individuals receiving Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement Board, and Veterans Affairs benefits – while not having to file tax returns for failing to meet income thresholds – have faced delays because the Internal Revenue Service did not provide the correct payment files to process their stimulus checks.
Now the IRS has all the necessary files on hand, but it is still not clear how long it will take to process payments. The IRS did not comment immediately on Friday.
Democratic leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee and other subcommittees of Congress sent a letter to the Social Security Agency and the IRS on Monday urging the files to be delivered quickly. By Wednesday, the legislature’s request turned into an ultimatum: They demanded that the files for 30 million unpaid beneficiaries be sent by Thursday.
The Social Security Agency submitted its files to the IRS on Thursday, according to a statement from the Ways and Means Committee. (Veterans Affairs announced that it delivered its files on Tuesday; the Railroad Retirement Board delivered its files on Monday.)
The Social Security Bureau told Congress leaders that it submitted the required data to the IRS at 8:48 a.m. Thursday.
Members of the committee blamed Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, who was appointed by President Trump, for the delay. But the agency said it was unable to act immediately because Congress did not directly give her the money to do the work.
AARP also sent letters to the Social Security Agency and the IRS on Thursday asking them both to provide clear information on when beneficiaries could expect their payments.
Many federal beneficiaries who submitted feedback in 2019 or 2020, or who used the non-applicant tool on the IRS website to update their information, have already received their payments.
To date, the IRS has made approximately 127 million payments in two batches, totaling $ 325 billion.