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Washington – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.),Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and 44 of their colleagues to call on the Trump administration to issue stimulus checks automatically to recipients of benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Supplemental Security Income program. In their letter, the senators point out that these are two groups with large amounts of non-filers and groups that the federal government has the data necessary to deliver the stimulus checks automatically.

“Today, we write requesting that you again use your authority to provide stimulus payments automatically to recipients of benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Supplemental Security Income program, without requiring them to file a tax return. This is the fastest, most-effective way to provide desperately needed help to more than 3 million low-income veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities,” the senators wrote.

Along with Feinstein, Brown, Hassan, Bennet and Booker, the letter was signed by Senators Baldwin (D-Wis.), Blumenthal (D-Conn,), Cantwell (D-Wash.), Cardin (D-Md.), Carper (D-Del.), Casey (D-Pa.), Coons (D-Del.), Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Duckworth (D-Ill.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Harris (D-Calif.), Heinrich (D-N.M.), Hirono (D-Hawaii), Jones (D-Ala.), Kaine (D-Va.), King (D-Maine), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Leahy (D-Vt.), Manchin (D-W. Va.), Markey (D-Mass.), Menendez (D-N.J.), Murphy (D-Conn.), Murray (D-Wash.), Peters (D-Mich.), Reed (D-R.I.), Rosen (D-Nev.), Sanders (I-Vt.), Schatz (D-Hawaii), Schumer (D-N.Y.), Shaheen (D-N.H.), Sinema (D-Ariz.), Smith (D-Minn.), Stabenow (D-Mich.), Udall (D-N.M.), Van Hollen (D-Md.), Warner (D-Va.), Warren (D-Mass.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Wyden (D-Ore.).

The letter is available here and below.

Dear Secretary Mnuchin, Secretary Wilkie, and Commissioner Saul: 

We appreciate the swift attention you gave to our April 1st letter urging the Department of Treasury (“Treasury”) to automatically send rebates to Social Security retirement and disability beneficiaries that have not filed a tax return. Your decision will make receiving the rebate easier and faster for millions of seniors and people with disabilities across the country. Thank you. 

Today, we write requesting that you again use your authority to provide stimulus payments automatically to recipients of benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Supplemental Security Income program, without requiring them to file a tax return. This is the fastest, most-effective way to provide desperately needed help to more than 3 million low-income veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities. 

Treasury wisely decided to use its authority to take this step with regard to recipients of Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits. Treasury can also make automatic payments to low-income veterans receiving VA benefits and very low-income seniors and people with disabilities receiving SSI. These are two groups with significant numbers of non-filers for whom the federal government has the data necessary to deliver the payments automatically — and they deserve the same treatment as Social Security recipients. 

The process for getting SSI and VA beneficiaries payments would mirror the process that it is using for seniors and people with disabilities receiving Social Security: Treasury can match its data against the Social Security Administration’s and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ data to determine those SSI and veterans beneficiaries who aren’t part of a tax filing unit and then issue them automatic payments for the amounts which Congress intended them to receive. Treasury should not require people with disabilities and low-income veterans and seniors to file a form to receive stimulus payments when the federal government already has the information it needs.  

The law also requires Treasury to conduct a public awareness campaign in coordination with other federal agencies to ensure those who don’t typically file a tax return receive these stimulus rebates. Please share information with us about your plans to design and implement this awareness campaign in a timely manner.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Senator Sherrod Brown

Senator Margaret Wood Hassan

Senator Michael F. Bennet

Senator Cory A. Booker

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Senator Richard Blumenthal

Senator Maria Cantwe

Senator Benjamin L. Cardin

Senator Thomas R. Carper

Senator Robert P. Casey Jr.

Senator Christopher A. Coons

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto

Senator Tammy Duckworth

Senator Richard J. Durbin

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand

Senator Kamala D. Harris

Senator Martin Heinrich

Senator Mazie K. Hirono

Senator Doug Jones

Senator Tim Kaine

Senator Angus S. King, Jr.

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Senator Patrick Leahy

Senator Joe Manchin III

Senator Edward J. Markey

Senator Robert Menendez

Senator Patty Murray

Senator Christopher S. Murphy

Senator Gary C. Peters

Senator Jack Reed

Senator Jacky Rosen

Senator Bernard Sanders

Senator Brian Schatz

Senator Charles E. Schumer

Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Senator Kyrsten Sinema

Senator Tina Smith

Senator Debbie Stabenow

Senator Tom Udall

Senator Chris Van Hollen

Senator Mark R. Warner

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Senator Ron Wyden

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