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Napolitano & Katko Lead Bipartisan Effort to Simplify IRS Recovery Rebate Process for SSI Recipients and Certain VA Beneficiaries

April 15, 2020
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, DC) Yesterday, Rep Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32) and Rep. John Katko (R-NY-24) sent a letter with 39 bipartisan colleagues calling on the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Social Security Administration to share the necessary data so recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and non-taxable VA benefits (VA Disability Compensation and Veterans Pension) can automatically obtain their recovery rebates established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“We are grateful for your efforts to carry out the portion of the CARES Act permitting Social Security and Railroad retirement beneficiaries to receive recovery rebates automatically based on the 1099 forms sent by the Social Security Administration (SSA),” the members wrote. “Now we ask that you do the same for the millions of recipients of SSI and non-taxable VA benefits who are deeply in need of recovery rebates and will use them promptly.”

“There is no reason to require additional information because your federal agencies already have the information needed to pay recovery rebates to recipients of SSI and VA benefits,” the members continued. “We urge you to begin the payments as soon as possible. This will help households meet their needs and stimulate their local economies.”

Napolitano and Katko were joined in sending the letter by: Reps. Chris Pappas (D-NH-01); John B. Larson (D-CT-01); Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01); Paul D. Tonko (D-NY-20); Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20); Joseph D. Morelle (D-NY-24); Mark Pocan (D-WI-02); David Trone (D-MD-06); Brad Sherman (D-CA-30); Joe Neguse (D-CO-02); Tim Ryan (D-OH-13); Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (R-AZ-04); Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY-03); Susan Wild (D-PA-07); Joe Wilson (R-SC-02); Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA-02); Adam Smith (D-WA-09); Haley M. Stevens (D-MI-11); Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09); Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO-05); Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13); Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14); Bill Foster (D-IL-11); Darren Soto (D-FL-09); Katie Porter (D-CA-45); Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18); Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT-03); Dina Titus (D-NV-01); Ro Khanna (D-CA-17); David N. Cicilline (D-RI-01); Van Taylor (R-TX-03); Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-02); Rodney Davis (R-IL-13); Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-15); Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA-03); Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30); Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. (D-NC-12); Diana DeGette (D-CO-01); and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40).


The full text of the letter can be viewed below.
 

Dear Secretary Mnuchin, Secretary Wilkie, and Commissioner Saul:

We strongly urge your federal agencies to share the necessary data so recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and non-taxable VA benefits (VA Disability Compensation and Veterans Pension) can easily obtain their recovery rebates established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

We are grateful for your efforts to carry out the portion of the CARES Act permitting Social Security and Railroad retirement beneficiaries to receive recovery rebates automatically based on the 1099 forms sent by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Now we ask that you do the same for the millions of recipients of SSI and non-taxable VA benefits who are deeply in need of recovery rebates and will use them promptly.

When we voted for the CARES Act, our strong intention was to not require recipients of these benefits, who are low-income veterans, senior citizens, and people with disabilities, to file additional information to obtain the rebates. Because of this, some eligible recipients for recovery rebates will never receive them and some may fall victim to scams or identity theft.

To remedy this problem and to comply with Congressional intent regarding Social Security beneficiaries, the applicable federal agencies should share data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and SSA with the Treasury, so beneficiaries receive their recovery rebates without the need to file additional information.

SSA and the VA's Veterans Benefit Administration have had a computer matching program whereby the VA shares compensation and pension payment data with SSA for various purposes related to SSI, Special Veterans Benefit recipients, and Medicare outreach.

As you can see, there is no reason to require additional information because your federal agencies already have the information needed to pay recovery rebates to recipients of SSI and VA benefits. We urge you to begin the payments as soon as possible. This will help households meet their needs and stimulate their local economies.

 

Thank you for your consideration to this serious matter.

 

Sincerely,


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