Ernst Pushes for Fix to Allow More Iowans to Access Relief Payments

After the feds imposed an extremely short deadline requiring select individuals to file additional paperwork in order to receive their proper sum of COVID-19 relief payments this year, Ernst is urging the IRS to explore options to allow them to receive the support

RED OAK, Iowa—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and a bipartisan group of her colleagues are pushing for a fix to allow more Iowans to get access to COVID-19 relief payments.

After the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gave select individuals only an extremely short deadline to file extra paperwork in order to receive their additional $500 per qualified dependent this year, Senator Ernst is urging the government to explore options to allow them to get these payments.

In her letter to the Treasury and IRS, Senator Ernst writes, “Given the short timeline and limited outreach, we ask you to explore all available options for allowing non-filing Social Security and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries with dependents who missed the April 22nd deadline to receive the additional $500 per qualified dependent without having to wait until next year. We also urge you to work with stakeholders to engage in immediate, targeted outreach to those federal benefit recipients with dependents who have not filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and ask that you consider options for a non-web-based alternative to the online non-filer portal.”

On April 20, Treasury and IRS announced that any Social Security beneficiaries, including individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance, and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries who have not completed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and have qualifying children under age 17, would need to use the IRS online tool for non-filers to claim the additional $500 per child payment by April 22.  According to the guidance, if a beneficiary missed this deadline, they will have to wait until next year to receive the additional dependent payments. 

Such individuals will still automatically receive their $1,200 coronavirus “economic impact payment” later this month.  The deadline for SSI and VA recipients to provide dependent information through the online non-filer form is May 5. Individuals who receive Social Security, Railroad Retirement, SSI, or VA benefits and do not have qualifying children under age 17 do not need to take any action to receive their $1,200 rebate checks. 

To read the full letter, click here.

Background:

Senator Ernst has been fighting for Iowa’s seniors throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. She called for bipartisan action to crackdown on scammers who are targeting Iowa seniors. Senator Ernst also pushed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to waive a tax filing requirement for seniors and others who normally do not file taxes in order for them to receive their direct cash assistance.

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