Up to 2 million veterans could miss out on $1,200 stimulus checks if they don't file with the IRS
Up to 2 million veterans could miss out on $1,200 stimulus checks since they still have to file with the IRS to get a payment.
Many veterans rely on federal benefits like disability payments from the Department of Veteran Affairs, and they don't usually have to file a tax return.
VA recipients can use the "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here" tool to submit basic information and choose how they want to be paid.
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have called on the IRS and Treasury to make the payments automatic.
The Treasury Department and the IRS have expanded eligibility for automatic payments of $1,200 stimulus checks in recent weeks. They've made it easier for millions of low-income people like those on Supplemental Security Income to get financial relief without needing to file a tax return.
But nearly 2 million veterans could be left out of the $1,200 stimulus checks that the federal government started sending out this week, according to CNBC. They are still required to file some information with the IRS, prompting concerns among advocates that many will be shut out from economic relief — particularly older veterans who lack easy access to a computer or other technology.
For now, VA recipients can use the "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here" tool to submit basic information and choose their preferred payment method, Business Insider's Tanza Loudenback reported.
Many veterans rely on federal benefits like disability payments from the VA, and they don't usually have to file a tax return.
The Treasury Department and the IRS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On its frequently asked questions page, the IRS said: "The IRS continues to explore ways to see if Payments can be made automatically to those who receive veterans disability compensation, pension, or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, but did not file a tax return for the 2018 or 2019 tax year."
Some lawmakers have already pressed the Treasury and the IRS to make the stimulus payments automatic.
Sen. Chuck Schumer said in a tweet on Wednesday that the Treasury should "quickly" move to ensure low-income veterans get automatic stimulus payments similar to SSI recipients.
We fought to make sure Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients would automatically receive stimulus payments without requiring them to file with the IRS.
Now Treasury needs to quickly do the same for low-income veterans receiving VA benefits.https://t.co/GC7yLBiPFq
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 15, 2020
Last week, Democratic Rep. Ron Kind and GOP Rep. Mike Kelly sent a letter to both agencies calling on them to remove any "bureaucratic obstacles."
"Veterans who rely on benefits that they earned should not be placed at a disadvantage due to unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles," the congressmen wrote. "It is clear that congressional intent was to get the individual rebates to all Americans, particularly veterans, as quickly and seamlessly as possible."
Under the stimulus law approved by President Trump last month, people earning below $75,000 are set to get the full $1,200 check, but the amount scales down until eligibility cuts off at $99,000.
The same goes for couples earning below $150,000, but they no longer qualify for federal cash if they make above $198,000.