S. E. Williams | Executive Editor
Since President Joe Biden signed the historic $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill on March 11, Social Security recipients have wondered where they fall in the distribution hierarchy for receipt of the much anticipated $1400 stimulus checks.
On Monday, March 22, members of the House Ways and Means Committee expressed alarm when they learned recipients of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement Board or Veterans Affairs benefits who are not required to file tax returns had still not received their stimulus checks two weeks after the president signed the bill into law.
What Went Wrong?
Reports indicate the concerned Congressmembers soon learned the Social Security Administration (SSA), led by a Trump Administration holdover, was responsible for the delay. The agency had failed to provide the IRS requested payment files needed to issue the stimulus checks to more than 30 million recipients.
In a letter sent to SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul, the Congressmembers did not mince words, “We demand that you immediately provide the IRS with this information by tomorrow.”
Within hours according to MSNBC reporting, SSA officials committed to deliver the needed files to the IRS Thursday, March 26.
Congress Presses for Immediate Action
To date nearly 127 million payments under the Biden stimulus plan were dispersed to recipients, while nearly 30 million impacted by the SSA failure continue to wait. When the payments will be dispersed remains unknown.
However, Congressmembers stressed in their letter, “The American Rescue Plan was intended to provide much-needed economic stimulus and assistance to people across the country – immediately – and we are counting on your agencies to ensure that beneficiaries are not left behind in the seamless delivery of those payments.”
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), John Larson (D-Conn.) and Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.) who authored the letter
concluded, “Some of our most vulnerable seniors and persons with disabilities, including veterans who served our country with honor, are unable to pay for basic necessities while they wait for their overdue payments.”
Read the House Ways and Means letter here.
S. E. Williams is executive editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News.