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|