The Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Treasury already have successfully disbursed more than a hundred thirty million coronavirus stimulus checks worth approximately $335 billion to Americans—and if you’re a Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Railroad Retirement Board recipient who has yet to receive the relief payment, know that it will likely arrive via direct deposit or traditional mail this week.
In a released statement, the IRS and Treasury Department said that the stimulus payments will head out to “Social Security recipients and other federal beneficiaries who do not normally file a tax return, with the projection that the majority of these payments would be sent electronically and received on April 7.”
The reason for the holdup in the transfer of the much-needed funds was due to the Social Security Administration (SSA) itself, according to a recent letter from the House Ways and Means Committee to the benefits agency, contending that millions of senior citizens were sitting empty-handed because the SSA didn’t turn over the necessary payment information to the IRS in a timely fashion.
The agency has since acknowledged that it has been reviewing, validating, and testing the payment records after receiving them from the SSA.
“If no additional issues arise, the IRS currently expects to complete that work and to begin processing these payment files at the end of this week,” the IRS stated. “Because the majority of these payments will be disbursed electronically—through direct deposits and payments to existing Direct Express cards—they would be received on the official payment date of April 7.”
Meanwhile, SSA Commissioner Andrew Saul asserted that the agency was initially limited in how much it could progress based on how its role is defined by the Social Security Act and the terms outlined in the American Rescue Plan.
“Once we were free to move forward, we aggressively worked with Treasury and IRS to issue payments,” he said in a statement.
For the current third batch of stimulus checks, more than two million direct deposit payments, with a total value of more than $5 billion, and about two million paper checks worth nearly $5 billion have been sent out. What’s notable about this particular batch is that it is the first one that includes “plus-up” or supplemental payments for those who only received partial $1,400 payments on an earlier date.
“This batch includes the first of ongoing supplemental payments for people who earlier in March received payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns,” the IRS said in a statement.
“These ‘plus-up’ payments could include a situation where a person’s income dropped in 2020 compared to 2019, or a person had a new child or dependent on their 2020 tax return, and other situations.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.