COVID-19, Supporting Our Most Vulnerable

Commissioner Statement on Economic Impact Payments

March 25, 2021 • By

Last Updated: March 25, 2021

A photo headshot of SSA Commissioner Andrew SaulI want to provide an important update about the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) processing of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.

At each turn over the last 12 months, immediate delivery of EIPs has been, and remains, a top priority for this agency. SSA’s public service mission is squarely focused on many of those who are most economically-vulnerable in our society and we owe it to our beneficiaries to ensure they receive their EIPs right away. In fact, it was the substantial efforts of SSA that successfully overcame the fact that the IRS did not have a mechanism to automatically identify Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, some of the most financially insecure people in America. It was SSA that pushed the prior Administration and Congress to allow us to send to IRS a file of those individuals, who do not receive forms SSA-1099, so that IRS could automatically issue EIPs to them.

Since the time that discussions began regarding issuance of EIPs in the ARP Act, weeks before passage, we have worked tirelessly with our counterparts at IRS to provide to them the information they need to issue payments to our beneficiaries. Despite the fact that Congress did not directly provide SSA funding to support our work on EIPs, we have provided countless hours of assistance to IRS consistent with the laws that establish how we may use the Trust Funds that every American counts on us to protect.

SSA discussed with Treasury and IRS, both before passage and after enactment of the ARP Act, that the Social Security Act does not allow the agency to use our administrative appropriation to conduct work on any non-mission provision or program. Accordingly, we were not authorized to substantively engage Treasury or IRS prior to the ARP’s passage. Instead, upon passage, we were required to pursue a reimbursable agreement with IRS because we received no direct appropriation through the ARP Act. From the outset of discussions, we kept congressional staff apprised of the hurdles this approach would create for SSA, and we have continued to update them on our progress with IRS as we completed the required interagency agreements.

Once we were free to move forward, we aggressively worked with Treasury and IRS to issue payments. As a result of our efforts, we successfully signed the reimbursable agreement and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) less than one week after passage, on March 17. That process often takes weeks or months to complete, but we got the job done in a matter of days. A few days later, on Monday, March 22, SSA sent initial test files to IRS. IRS confirmed testing success on Wednesday, March 24. Production files were delivered to IRS before 9 AM on Thursday, March 25 – more than a week sooner than we were able to provide a similar file to IRS during the first round of EIPs.

While we were working through the agreements with IRS that would fund our efforts to support issuance of EIPs, we were also protecting the integrity of the EIP program by updating the files that IRS will use to issue payments to our beneficiaries. Those updates to our files ensure that payments go to correct bank accounts and addresses, and, that those who are deceased are removed from the files. In short, Social Security employees have literally worked day and night with IRS staff to ensure that the electronic files of Social Security and SSI recipients are complete, accurate, and ready to be used to issue payments. There is no one more committed to serving the public than the employees of this agency, and there should be no doubt whatsoever that they are striving each day to serve the vulnerable populations to whom they have committed their careers. I find any insinuation to the contrary to be unacceptable.

I assure you that we will continue to do all we can to support implementation of the ARP Act.


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Commissioner of Social Security Administration (June 17, 2019 - July 9, 2021)

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  1. Charmaine Kent

    I would like to know why I received the first two stimulus checks but upon using the get my payment site it is saying my information doesn’t match the IRS information. Nothing has changed in my information and had no problem getting the first two checks. I am 60 years old and disabled, receive my monthly check by direct deposit no problem.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Charmaine, thanks for using our blog. The IRS announced on March 30 that it will begin to issue economic impact payments (EIP) to Social Security and SSI recipients who do not normally file a tax return. The majority of EIPs will be paid through direct deposit and to existing Direct Express cards, and should be received on April 7. We are waiting for information from the IRS about timing for people who will receive their EIP by mail. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for more details. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  2. Joyce Franklin

    First of all truly appreciate and thank you all for your help and hard work. I live in the Virgin Islands, and my question is why does it take most of us so long to receive our stimulus check? Where as in the US it’s distributed right away. We are still waiting for the $1400. Thank you as I wait for a response

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Joyce, thanks for using our blog. You can find the latest information available from the IRS at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-impact-payments. If you don’t see the answer to your question, you can call the IRS’ payment hotline at 1-800-919-9835.

      The IRS, not Social Security, sends all economic impact payments. Unfortunately, our telephone representatives and social media team cannot answer your specific situation about payments.

      Reply
  3. Keith Perry

    So, I ‘m not impressed with the steaming pile above that you think I am going to believe because I am not a bumpkin that voted for that Russian asset DonaldJTrump who appointed you to this privileged position of power. I can connect the dots and see partisan game playing and goldbricking instead of attending to the business the American people expect you to do as the Hatch Act of 1969 forbids this kind of partisan game playing. My father was a Federal employee, so I know the delaying tactics you are engaging in are not in anyone’s best interest, so just do the job and obey the law instead of fertilizing us with more steaming piles of excuses.

    Reply
  4. Keith Perry

    The delays in getting direct deposits account numbers to the IRS are not having the effect you want. Instead of blaming the Democrats in power, I and a lot ofmy friends are blaming the Trump appointees and the Republican party. We are spreading the news that obviously you are more interested in doing the bidding of a proven Russian asset in Donald Trump instead of working for the American people. This treasonous action is probably going to result in even more Democrats getting elected to offices next year . Stop playing partisan games and do your jobs instead.

    Reply
  5. R Ash

    I wouldn’t get your hopes up folks on a stimulus payment by April 7th. I have read all through the latest IRS & SSA postings and the very lengthy Cnet one, a lot of should, some, maybe’s, many, soon’s, strict steps, majority, could’s & issue arise, expects, anticipate, in all the announcements, bunch of lying hooee if you ask me.

    The Cnet diatribe and what I saw on a TV news channel kind of reaffirms that many may not get anything until 2022 if they filed a paper return. (let alone doing taxpayers returns)
    Remember the IRS sending millions of dollars or payments to wrong bank accounts back in January? Did they ever get that money back or are they still trying to sort that out?
    What is so hard about this with today’s super computers and AI? Or did the SSA & IRS get bargain consumer computers from some Big Box retailer like the State of Florida did for it’s unemployment division? What’s that big IBM computer called? Big Blue? nope that’s not it, it’s “Deep Blue” but that’s so 1997, now it’s a Pangea III computer but that’s not even in the top 10 of the most powerful public or private computers globally.
    I understand you have to weed out the dead people but it’s only a half a million due too COVID, but what are you dragging your feet so another 1/2 million will die?

    Let me get the crystal ball out Saturday April 3rd, IRS Get My Payment

    Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site.
    We can’t connect to the server at sa.www4.irs.gov

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Rik, thanks for using our blog. The IRS announced on March 30 that it will begin to issue economic impact payments (EIP) this weekend to Social Security and SSI recipients who do not normally file a tax return. The majority of EIPs will be paid through direct deposit and to existing Direct Express cards, and should be received on April 7. We are waiting for information from the IRS about timing for people who will receive their EIP by mail. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for more details. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  6. Renita Bounds

    Mr. Saul I believe every word you’ve said today & I also think the IRS is attempting to make social Security administration their personal escape goat!!! Have a wonderful weekend sir & for what its worth I admire how you’re dealing with this you’re admirable.

    Reply
  7. Lucille Bello

    Under the prior administration those who receive SSI were issued their stimulus payment fast. Why is it now that those of us who really need this payment are THE LAST TO RECEIVE IT. I read the reason but I will never try to understand it! We need it before those who earn 50 to 85,000 dollars a year. There should be no excuses for the delay

    Reply
  8. Joann Beck

    I received my first stimulus payment on time. I still have not received my second or third payments. Regarding the second payment, I was told that they were issued based on credit card number. Unfortunately, my card had been lost and a new one issued before the second payment was approved. The routing number and account number remained the same. Based on this, I was told to file a 2020 tax return that I normally don’t need to file because I receive SSDI. I filed the tax return and still have not received my money to date. In the meantime, the third stimulus payment was approved and I have not received that payment. Help! I really need this money bad and have been unable to receive it.

    Reply
    • Joann Beck

      I received by 3rd stimulus payment a little over an hour later after I sent my comment. I still need to work on getting my 2nd stimulus payment!!!

      Reply
  9. Cassandra C Saunders

    BIG Thank You, kindly, Commissioner Saul, for keeping us abreast and making us ALL aware, finally. We appreciate the update, Sir.

    Previously, SSD/SSI Recipients were amongst 1st to receive EIP#1 & EIP#2 Stimulus’; and, what we want to know NOW is WHEN CAN WE EXPECT THE 3RD (EIP#3) DirectDeposit into our accounts/checks mailed or cards to be sent to us…..WHAT IS THE ETA, respectfully, Sir?

    Additionally, if we were NEVER required to file taxes as SSD/RRD Recipients and received our EIP#1/EIP#2 Stimulus’ W/O delay; will it be the same for this 3rd EIP#3 Stimulus now that you are the new Commissioner within the Biden Administration? Why not simply stick with what was done for EIP#1/EIP#2 Stimulus’ received in a timely manner?

    Will we NOW be required to file taxes to receive this 3rd EIP#3 Stimulus payment? If so, why has this changed, may we ask?

    Thankfully, SSD/RRD benefits allow us to survive off the system we paid into ALL OUR LIVES. However, it is basic and not like earning more in OT if we could return back to work. To suddenly require we pay taxes now just to receive the EIP#3 Stimulus is unfair and unjust considering EIP#1/EIP#2 Stimulus’ readily came W/O requiring taxes be filed while on Disability. Is this true or just a rumor?

    Thank you in advance for your response. We appreciate you and ALL the commitment of every SSA employee to help us AS WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Cassandra, thanks for using our blog. The IRS announced on March 30 that it will begin to issue economic impact payments (EIP) this weekend to Social Security and SSI recipients who do not normally file a tax return. The majority of EIPs will be paid through direct deposit and to existing Direct Express cards, and should be received on April 7. We are waiting for information from the IRS about timing for people who will receive their EIP by mail. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for more details. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  10. Lorraine Freeman

    Could someone please explain when I will get my stimulus check? I’m on Social Security and I really do need help.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Lorraine, thanks for using our blog. The IRS announced on March 30 that it will begin to issue economic impact payments (EIP) this weekend to Social Security and SSI recipients who do not normally file a tax return. The majority of EIPs will be paid through direct deposit and to existing Direct Express cards, and should be received on April 7. We are waiting for information from the IRS about timing for people who will receive their EIP by mail. Check out our Social Security and Coronavirus web page for more details. We hope this helps.

      Reply
      • Renita Bounds

        Ma’am if they begin issuing society security beneficiaries this weekend by direct deposit, why will it take until April 7th for us to receive it????

        Reply
      • Cara L Dansby

        Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!

        Reply
      • Russell Allen

        Stimulus came. Tto. Address 11north4th massadhousehotel. Return ing. It. No. Reason.

        Reply
    • Sharon Y McCray

      Please keep all information on the internet regarding social security benefits and services. All important documentation and data can be obtained by citizens when they need to get COVID 19 news and updates. This. can help most consumers speed up their business process to receive any financial funds or feedback needed. All family related services can also be helped. Thanks.

      Reply
    • Hospitals & Asylums

      Illegible Secretary Yellen, hath not the sage to digest the pound of beef that healed my broken foot and she must just “pay all disability and retirement beneficiaries at once without requiring individuals call their bank to sustain the myth that the IRS and not the Treasury paid for these inappropriately named rebates”. The wait to instantly confirm the “ACH deposit” was about 20 minutes after coincidentally reading the message in my secure inbox. I am not entirely pleased to lose the ledger at the expense of a new revenues and fee calculator and would like the ledger included to prevent this sort of hydrocortisone, eucalyptus, lavender or peppermint help vaccines cure coronavirus anticompetitive behavior under 15USC§13a. Many Social Security beneficiaries have not received their economic impact payments, and this constitutes discrimination under Sec. 102 of the Americans with Disabilities Act under 42USC§12112(b)(4) and the Age Discrimination Act under 29USC§623(i).  Recovery rebates pursuant to Sec. 9601 of the American Rescue Plan Act P.L. 117-2 March 11, 2021 amend the IRS Code by inserting a 26USC§6428A in addition to the 2020 Recovery rebates for individuals under §6428 from the CARES Act P.L. 116-136 March 27, 2020 are in error. The IRS does not generate enough money to pay for any of these relief acts, nor even regular operations of the federal government within a 3% of margin of error until after the TCJA is repealed. HA estimates the Treasury must devaluate the US dollar an estimated 16% for calendar year 2020 and this tardy relief bill to limit the sale of t-bonds to prevent catastrophic withdrawal from the stock exchange and stop counterfeiting like a fool pursuant to the Marshall Lerner Condition under 19USC§4421, 22USC§5301, 2020 Revised estimates: effect of changes in rates of exchange and inflation Report of the Secretary-General A/74/585 of 11 Dec. 2019. HA Applicant Public Trustee http://www.title24uscode.org/march2021.html

      Reply

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