Bennet Welcomes Treasury Department’s Decision to Reverse Policy and Allow Social Security Recipients to Get CARES Act Direct Cash Assistance Without Having to File Tax Return

Bennet Previously Joined Senate Colleagues in Letter to Treasury and Social Security Administration

Denver – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet welcomed the decision by the Treasury Department to reverse an earlier policy that would have required Social Security beneficiaries to file taxes in order to receive the direct cash assistance included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. While the CARES Act, which the president signed into law last week, ensured that the Treasury Department had the authority to send automatic direct cash assistance to Social Security beneficiaries regardless of whether they file taxes or not, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released contradictory guidance earlier this week stating that beneficiaries would need to file tax returns in order to receive direct payments. Bennet joined his Senate colleagues in a letter to the Treasury Department and the Social Security Administration expressing concerns about the IRS guidelines and calling on the administration to ensure that all Social Security beneficiaries would immediately receive the cash assistance without having to file taxes.   

“The IRS guidance would have placed a significant burden on Social Security beneficiaries, many of whom do not file taxes – especially in the midst of a pandemic,” said Bennet. “I appreciate that the administration welcomed constructive feedback and made this important change. This decision will go a long way in helping millions of vulnerable seniors and individuals with disabilities automatically receive this much-needed cash relief.” 

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, more than 15 million Social Security recipients who currently do not file tax returns and are not required to do so would have had to file in order to receive the direct cash assistance. This decision ensures they will all receive the full $1,200 payment, as Congress intended.