The latest round of stimulus checks was a welcome relief for so many. But 25 Investigates has learned millions of people are still waiting on theirs; many are among the most vulnerable like seniors, veterans and people with disabilities on Social Security.
“You know I was certified to be a social studies teacher, and I feel very let down by my government,” said Jann Davis, a Canton senior who lives on Social Security benefits.
She said one-third of her $800 per month goes to just housing. Like everyone who’s struggled during this pandemic, Davis was eagerly awaiting a third stimulus payment. She’s been continually checking online and getting a message that said, in part, “payment status not available.”
Davis contacted 25 Investigates to share her story and we’ve learned it’s far from unique.
Last week, members of the House Ways and Means Committee, including Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal, revealed some 30 million people were in the same boat, eligible for the latest stimulus and still waiting.
They sent this letter to the Social Security Administration demanding they release the beneficiary payment information to the Internal Revenue Service, something, they said, should have happened weeks ago.
“Do you feel left behind,” anchor and investigative reporter Kerry Kavanaugh asked Davis.
“I was left behind, me, yes. Thirty million of us are left behind. It’s not right,” she said.
Davis did receive previous stimulus payments. She told Kavanaugh she used the $2,000 payment to help bury her sister, Mary who died of COVID-19 in July.
“This was a directive that was given to you by the Commander-in-Chief, by the President of the United States. And, somehow, it got misdirected. Why it got misdirected, I don’t know,” Davis said.
In a statement from March 25, the Social Security Administration – which is still headed by Commissioner Andrew M. Saul, a Trump administration appointee – claimed they couldn’t process the information any faster because they didn’t get enough funding. The statement added, in part, “There is no one more committed to serving the public than the employees of this agency.”
On Thursday, the SSA announced it had turned over the necessary payment files. But Davis is still waiting for her much-needed relief.
“I’m just a symbolic person of 30 million people that were let down for reasons we don’t know,” she said.
Last week the IRS said it will now process that payment information, but they have yet to say when.
On Tuesday, less than 24 hours after our story first aired, we got an update from the White House with a solid date for when money will be sent out.
“Thanks to collaboration between the IRS and the Social Security Administration they will soon announce that we are on track to send those payments out this weekend - the majority of people should see them in their bank accounts on Wednesday, April 7,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.