After successfully delivering billions to New York as part of last week’s passage of the bipartisan CARES Act, which included provisions for direct cash assistance for seniors across the country and millions for New York seniors, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has heeded his call and will reverse the guidance issued earlier this week requiring Social Security recipients file a tax return in order to receive the direct cash assistance.

Schumer explained that the reversal is essential to the wellbeing of seniors and disabled New Yorkers because the original IRS requirement of filing a tax return in order to receive the direct assistance would have placed an undue burden on vulnerable individuals, especially seniors, who are already facing tremendous stress as the most at-risk population during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

“After successfully pushing for streamlined payments to New York seniors and most vulnerable in last week’s emergency relief package, the IRS turned around and issued bureaucratic and unreasonable guidance, complicating the process and making it harder for thousands of New Yorkers to quickly get the money they deserve,” said Senator Schumer. “I’m glad the IRS heeded my call and reversed course, because asking vulnerable individuals living in the epicenter of this global pandemic to jump through unnecessary hoops to get their much-needed cash assistance is irresponsible. The new IRS guidance puts the wellbeing of these New Yorkers first and achieves the intended goal I so fiercely fought for: get New Yorkers the money they deserve and need to help get through this difficult time as quickly as possible.”

The IRS guidance released on March 30th outlined that Social Security beneficiaries would need to file tax returns in order to receive direct cash assistance, even though the CARES Act explicitly provided the Treasury Department the authority to release cash to those beneficiaries directly. Schumer opposed the original guidance, saying that the contradicting information only added to the confusion individuals are already facing. The new guidance from the IRS follows the provisions in the Schumer-negotiated CARES Act, providing an avenue for direct cash assistance for the most vulnerable populations.

According to the Social Security Administration, New York has over 3 million retired and disabled workers receiving Social Security benefits. Below is a breakdown of impacted New Yorkers in each county:

 

County Retired Workers on SS Disabled Workers on SS
Albany 44,140 8,610
Allegany 7,755 1,770
Bronx 126,160 39,975
Broome 32,520 7,395
Cattaraugus 13,290 3,330
Cayuga 12,520 2,590
Chautauqua 23,110 5,245
Chemung 14,500 3,780
Chenango 8,945 2,120
Clinton 12,845 4,025
Columbia 11,595 2,010
Cortland 7,140 1,475
Delaware 8,670 1,615
Dutchess 42,825 8,480
Erie 141,520 30,830
Essex 7,090 1,375
Franklin 7,830 2,065
Fulton 9,405 2,585
Genesee 9,915 2,080
Greene 8,690 2,015
Hamilton 1,360 140
Herkimer 11,305 2,375
Jefferson 14,765 3,530
Kings 238,735 47,025
Lewis 4,080 890
Livingston 10,330 2,090
Madison 10,780 2,100
Monroe 114,385 23,940
Montgomery 9,015 2,145
Nassau 193,170 24,700
New York 194,710 27,880
Niagara 35,840 8,990
Oneida 37,425 8,825
Onondaga 69,845 14,310
Ontario 19,910 3,315
Orange 45,415 10,070
Orleans 6,465 1,630
Oswego 18,035 4,910
Otsego 10,725 1,870
Putnam 13,965 2,225
Queens 251,800 36,485
Rensselaer 24,115 5,190
Richmond 60,895 13,755
Rockland 41,320 5,230
St. Lawrence 16,650 4,610
Saratoga 37,175 5,840
Schenectady 22,935 5,120
Schoharie 5,515 1,125
Schuyler 3,535 740
Seneca 5,765 1,305
Steuben 16,310 3,785
Suffolk 210,475 37,530
Sullivan 11,995 2,890
Tioga 8,655 1,770
Tompkins 12,340 1,925
Ulster 29,810 5,945
Warren 13,170 2,720
Washington 9,990 2,570
Wayne 15,850 3,525
Westchester 128,465 15,680
Wyoming 6,640 1,375
Yates 4,650 820
NYS Total 2,548,783 486,264

 

Lockwood Law

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