Trump administration says recipients of VA benefits will automatically receive coronavirus checks

Trump administration says recipients of VA benefits will automatically receive coronavirus checks
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The Trump administration announced Friday that recipients of benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs will automatically receive $1,200 coronavirus rebates without having to file tax returns.

The announcement applies to veterans and their beneficiaries who receive compensation and pension benefits from the VA and did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019. The IRS said that the timing of the automatic payments has yet to be determined.

VA benefit recipients will automatically receive $1,200, the maximum amount per adult. Benefit recipients with children under 17 can use a tool on the IRS's website labeled "Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here" to provide the IRS with information so that they can also receive the $500 per child for which they are eligible.

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The Treasury Department and VA said that some benefit recipients have already started to use the IRS tool to input their information, and that there won't be any interruption to payments being processed through this tool as a result of Friday's announcement. The departments encourages veterans with internet access to continue to use the tool.

“Many have expressed concern that veterans and their beneficiaries would be overlooked during the distribution of Economic Impact Payments from the CARES Act simply because they don’t file an annual tax return,” VA Secretary Robert WilkieRobert Leon WilkieOvernight Defense: DOD reportedly eyeing Confederate flag ban | House military spending bill blocks wall funding Wilkie: Union exploiting COVID-19 crisis for contract gains Fauci hints at new approach to COVID-19 testing MORE said in a news release. “This collaboration will ensure our veterans receive CARES Act payments without any additional action or paperwork required.”

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig said in a separate news release that “additional programming work remains, but this step simplifies the process for VA recipients to quickly and easily receive these $1,200 payments automatically."

The announcement comes as the IRS is working to get coronavirus rebates to as many people as possible who are eligible for them. A key challenge for the IRS is to ensure that payments get to people who are not typically required to file tax returns — a group that is typically low-income.

Earlier this week, the IRS announced that recipients of Supplemental Security Income will automatically receive their coronavirus rebates, and the agency had also previously announced that people who receive Social Security and railroad retirement benefits will also automatically get $1,200 payments.