CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

When could Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients receive stimulus checks?

The IRS have already sent over 130 million direct payments but those who get Social Security support have seen their stimulus checks delayed by the SSA.

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When could Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients receive stimulus checks?

All Social Security recipients should be eligible to receive the third stimulus check that was included in the American Rescue Plan, but administrative issues have seen their payments delayed for weeks.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) had reportedly failed to provide the relevant claimants’ information needed for the IRS to process the payments, leaving an estimated 30 million Americans without the direct payments.

The SSA have now confirmed that they have provided the relevant information, but it may take some time for the payments to get out to those in need.

What is the Supplemental Security Income programme?

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a programme designed to provide monthly payments to Americans with disabilities and those aged 65 and older.

The support is contingent on certain income and resource limits to ensure that the money goes to those who need it. The programme runs parallel to the Social Security disability or retirement benefits support and SSI claimants are also able to receive both.

SSI recipients are amongst those affected by the stimulus check delay because their programmes are also overseen by the SSA. As of February 2021 nearly eight million Americans are receiving SSI support, all of whom should also have got a stimulus check.

What has caused the SSI stimulus check delay?

The delay in stimulus check payments was the focus of a letter from the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, demanding an explanation for the hold-up. The letter called on the SSA to help expedite payment to the 30 million recipients of Social Security programmes who are yet to get the support.

The letter, signed by Representatives Richard Neal, John Larson, Bill Pascrell and Danny Davis, read: "As of today, SSA still has not provided the IRS with the payment files that are needed to issue [stimulus checks] to these struggling Americans.”

This pressure appears to have paid off and by Thursday the group of lawmakers issued a press release confirming that “the agency has transmitted the necessary payment files to the IRS that have been blocking the sending of stimulus payments to nearly 30,000,000 Americans”.

Social Security recipients would be able to receive the stimulus check payments in the form of a direct deposit, by far the quickest method of distribution used by the IRS. With this in mind, it seems like those who claim SSI, and any other programme administrated by the SSA, could begin getting the $1,400 payments in the coming days.

The House Ways and Means Committee will be ensuring that the process is completed as swiftly as possible, and ending the press release by saying: “Now the IRS needs to do its job and get these overdue payments out to suffering Americans. Further delays will not be tolerated by this committee.”