The IRS said Wednesday that has delivered stimulus checks to millions of Social Security recipients and other lower-income Americans in the third round of payments under President Biden's American Rescue Plan.
About 19 million payments, worth roughly $26 billion, went to individuals collecting Social Security benefits as part of the fourth batch of checks, the agency said. Another 3 million payments, or about $5 billion, went to Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries, while about 85,000 payments went to Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries.
In total, the IRS has delivered about 156 million checks valued at an estimated $372 billion since Biden signed the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan into law.
The announcement from the IRS comes more than one week after House Democrats sounded the alarm over payment delays for Americans who are not required to file tax returns – including some veterans and Social Security beneficiaries.
In a letter addressed to IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig and Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul, four Democrats, including the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, urged the agencies to accelerate the distribution of payments to those individuals.
"The American Rescue Plan was intended to provide much-needed economic stimulus and assistance to people across the country – immediately – and we are counting on your agencies to ensure that beneficiaries are not left behind in the seamless delivery of those payments," the letter said.
The lawmakers blamed Social Security Administration Commissioner Andrew Saul – who was nominated by former President Donald Trump – for the delays, which "defied congressional intent and imposed needless anxiety and pain on taxpayers."
Saul attributed the delay to a lack of funding and political red tape that prevented the administration from working with the Treasury Department or IRS before the American Rescue Plan was passed.
Americans who earn more than the threshold line will still receive a partial check. But payments are cut off for individuals who earn $80,000 a year or more and couples who earn $160,000 a year or more. For those filing as head of household, the phaseout begins at $112,500 and tapers off at $120,000.
You can check the status of the payment using the IRS's Get My Payment tool. Additional payments are slated to go out as the IRS continues to process 2020 tax returns.