Retirees and other low-income recipients of federal benefits started to see the direct payments after weeks of administrative holdups. But many veterans who bank on federal disability or pension benefits and don’t typically file tax returns were told last week that they’d have to wait as the IRS reviewed data from Veterans Affairs.
“The IRS continues to review data received from Veterans Affairs (VA), which covers veterans and their beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments who don’t normally file a tax return,” the agency said in a news release Wednesday. “If no additional issues arise, the IRS expects to begin processing these VA payment files at the end of this week.”
The IRS will disburse the majority of the payments electronically, with an official payment date of April 14; some may turn up as pending deposits in bank accounts in the coming days.
The IRS projected that veterans should be able to check the Get My Payment tool for information on their stimulus check this upcoming weekend.
VA beneficiaries are among the group of “vulnerable Americans” who have experienced an “inexplicable” delay in stimulus payments approved as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, according to lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee chaired by Rep. Richard Neal.
In late March, the lawmakers said they’d received reports of delays in “critical assistance … for millions of Americans in need,” including Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and VA beneficiaries. In the two previous stimulus rounds in 2020, the IRS, Social Security Administration and VA worked together to ensure prompt payments, the lawmakers said.
“Some of our most vulnerable seniors and persons with disabilities, including veterans who served our country with honor, are unable to pay for basic necessities while they wait for their overdue payments,” the lawmakers wrote to SSA and VA officials.
Following the latest batch of stimulus payments this week, the federal government has issued more than 156 million payments totaling about $372 billion since March 12, IRS says.
The American Rescue Plan approved $1,400 to adults earning less than $75,000 and couples less than $150,000, as well as $1,400 for dependents. The checks phase out for Americans making more than $75,000, with a hard cut-off at $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for married couples.
All three major stimulus packages since the pandemic hit the U.S. have made clear that those who do not earn enough to file taxes, including many of the beneficiaries the Democratic lawmakers pressed IRS, SSA and VA about, are eligible for payments.