Chairman Takano Calls for Tax Fix, Full Automatic COVID-19 Stimulus Checks for Vulnerable Veteran Families
Jenni Geurink (202-819-4684)
Miguel R. Salazar
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) called on Department of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Charles Rettig to automatically provide the additional CARES Act economic impact payments for veterans with children living at home in a letter sent Wednesday. Following a push from Chairman Takano pressing for automatic payments of stimulus checks without requiring a tax return, the Treasury Department, VA, and IRS worked to automatically identify and distribute COVID-19 stimulus checks to vulnerable veterans. However their fix was not complete. Veterans are now required to immediately fill out an online form, with little notice, to receive a $500 check per each child living at home. This is an unnecessary roadblock to ensuring veteran families get the immediate relief they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Without a plan to ensure veterans and their families receive their entire stimulus payment automatically, vulnerable families will be at risk. It is disabled veterans with dependents who will miss out on funds that are owed to them, making it more difficult to support and care for their families,” said Chairman Takano. “I urge VA to do whatever it can to identify veterans with dependents and to ensure that Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service have the information they need to automatically provide full stimulus payments to everyone who is owed them.”
The full text of the letter can be found here and below:
Dear Secretary Wilkie, Secretary Mnuchin, and Commissioner Rettig:
I write today with concerns that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has not done enough to ensure that all veterans and their dependents will receive their stimulus payments. I was encouraged last week that VA leaders had worked with the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to allow direct stimulus payments to veterans who are non-filers through their existing benefits accounts. However, I was concerned to learn that while automatic payments would be deposited for veterans’ stimulus payment, those veterans would not automatically receive the $500 payment for their dependents.
I urge VA to do whatever it can to identify veterans with dependents and to ensure that Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have the information they need to automatically provide full stimulus payments to everyone who is owed them. It is vital that everyone receive the entire amount of their stimulus payment this year for both themselves and their dependents without unnecessary complications or delay. Treasury’s current solution, to have all veteran non-filers with dependents fill out a form on the IRS website or wait until 2021 and file a 2020 tax return, is incompatible with the goals of the Congress and its passage of the CARES Act, which is to get needed funds and support to people immediately. Our vulnerable veterans are under intense economic stress as a result of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) and should be receiving their stimulus payments automatically without having to fill out forms or wait months.
Without a plan to ensure veterans and their families receive their entire stimulus payment automatically, vulnerable families will be at risk. It is disabled veterans with dependents who will miss out on funds that are owed to them, making it more difficult to support and care for their families.
I urge VA, Treasury, and the IRS to work together to explore additional options that will ensure veterans and their dependents receive the money they are owed. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.
Next Article Previous Article