Treasury Department heeds Congress’ call to give veterans benefits recipients the same treatment as those receiving social security and disability benefits

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith announced that veterans in Minnesota and across the country who receive benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will automatically receive direct coronavirus relief payments without having to file tax returns.

Earlier this month, Klobuchar and Smith—along with 43 of their Democratic colleagues—called on the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Social Security Administration to automatically provide relief payments to millions of low-income veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities even if they have not filed a tax return. The Treasury Department first took this step with Social Security beneficiaries a few weeks ago, and Sens. Klobuchar and Smith pressed the Administration to ensure people receiving benefits through the VA or the Supplemental Security Income program are eligible for these payments as well. However, veterans who have not filed a tax return and have a dependent will need to visit the IRS website to submit this form to receive the coronavirus relief payment.

“As our veterans continue to deal with the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, it is crucial that they receive much needed resources as quickly as possible. The VA’s announcement that benefit recipients will automatically receive relief payments is welcome news,” Klobuchar said. “I will continue to work to ensure that our veterans receive the resources and support they need and deserve during this crisis.”

“I fought to make sure Minnesota seniors, veterans and people with disabilities get help dealing with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic without having to jump through hoops to get it,” said Sen. Smith. “The Treasury Department already made it possible for Social Security recipients to get COVID-19 relief assistance without having to file tax returns, and it’s only fair that veterans get the same treatment.”

You can access the letter sent in early April to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, and Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul here.