President’s Forum 108 – Social Security During Coronavirus Pandemic

If you are one of the 64 million people on Social Security you will continue to receive your monthly payment as usual in the U.S. mail or direct deposit, according to the Social Security Administration. (https://www.ssa.gov/)

As the result of the Coronavirus economic stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed by the President last week, many Americans will receive a check from the federal government. Social Security beneficiaries (including Supplemental Security Income recipients) are part of the qualified group to receive a check, according to a spokesman for Senator Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

Americans who make no more than $75,000 will receive $1,200 or $2,400 if they are married and making $150,000 or less. Individuals with children will receive $500 for every child. Persons who file their federal taxes as heads of households have an earnings limit of $146,500. Those who earn $99,000 as a single individual or $198,000 as a married couple will not receive any money

Income is determined by a person’s adjusted gross income (AGI). The checks, which are nontaxable, will be based on 2019 tax returns if they’ve already been filed. (The filing deadline has been delayed until July 15). For individuals who have yet to send in their 2019 tax returns, 2018 IRS figures will be used. The government can use a beneficiary’s Social Security statements to calculate the check amount if a person did not file taxes and send the check based on the information on file.

The enacted legislation does not set a date for when the direct deposits and checks will start to go out, saying only that the Treasury Secretary will send the payments “as rapidly as possible.” The money could be sent either by U.S. mail or direct deposit.

Here is some additional information about the Social Security Administration that could be useful to you during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The SSA has closed its field offices to the public to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus. The public is urged to try to find help online first. Click here to find out what services are available during the Coronavirus crisis.

Click here to access online services.
Click here to see Frequently Asked Questions. .
Click here to send an email to SSA.
Click here to read SSA press releases.

If it is necessary to talk to someone at the SSA, call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

The SSA is concerned about recent reports of beneficiaries receiving fraudulent letters and phone calls saying their benefits are going to be suspended due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, according to the Social Security Office of the Inspector General. The letters provide a phone number beneficiaries should call to get their benefits reinstated, and then scammers mislead callers into providing personal information. Some fraudsters will also ask their targeted victims to send cash in order to continue receiving their monthly checks.

Additionally, the SSA will never threaten you with arrest or legal action for not paying a fee or a fine, and the SSA will not ask for personally identifiable information via letter or email. If you ever receive a phone call, letter, or email that seems suspicious, hang up, or don’t respond. DON’T FALL FOR THESE SCAMS!

The SSA encourages you to report scams. Call the fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271. Click here to submit a report online.

Bill Kedereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network