Following Calls from Carper, Hassan, Brown, and Colleagues, Treasury Reverses Course and Says Social Security Beneficiaries Do Not Need to File Tax Returns to Receive COVID-19 Direct Cash Assistance

Yesterday, Senator Carper Joined Hassan and Brown and 40 Democratic Senators Denouncing Treasury Guidance That Contradicted Language of COVID-19 Bipartisan Package

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last night, following calls from Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and colleagues, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that Social Security recipients will automatically receive direct cash assistance included in the CARES Act without having to file tax returns. 

Yesterday, Senator Carper joined Senators Hassan and Brown and a group of 40 colleagues in raising alarms over guidance that the IRS issued earlier this week that said that Social Security beneficiaries would need to file tax returns in order to receive direct cash payments. This directly contradicted Congressional intent in drafting the CARES Act, which had made clear that the Treasury Department had the authority to send automatic direct cash assistance to Social Security beneficiaries regardless of whether they file taxes.

“Delaware seniors and our neighbors living with disabilities are particularly vulnerable during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Carper. “The last thing they should have to worry about is if they will receive much-needed direct cash assistance to help them put food on the table and pay their bills and rent. It’s precisely why Congress made clear in the CARES Act that our nation’s Social Security beneficiaries need not take any additional action in order to receive their money. But, earlier this week and contrary to the bill, the IRS issued guidance that suggested they did in fact need to take additional steps in order to receive their money, causing confusion and anxiety for these vulnerable communities. It’s why I joined Senators Hassan and Brown to urge the Administration to abandon those requirements for our seniors and Americans living with disabilities. Today, like so many Delawareans and Americans, I am relieved to see the Trump Administration reverse course.”

Delawareans with questions about cash payments for individuals and families can find answers here.

Click here to read the letter sent earlier today by Senators Carper, Hassan and Brown as well as Bob Casey (D-PA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Michael F. Bennet (D-CO), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Richard J. Durbin (D-IL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Doug Jones (D-AL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Gary C. Peters (D-MI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Angus S. King, Jr. (I-ME), Tina Smith (D-MN), Christopher A. Coons (D-DE), Patty Murray (D-WA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).