Capito works to ensure seniors don’t have to file additional forms for COVID-19 assistance

CHARLESTON — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and 21 of her colleagues yesterday penned a letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Treasury calling on the agencies to automatically qualify seniors for the direct Economic Impact Payments. Last night, Treasury clarified that Social Security recipients will not need to file an abbreviated tax return, but the cash payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. 

Included in the coronavirus (COVID-19) phase three relief package, Congress gave the IRS the authority to waive a tax filing requirement for seniors and others who normally do not file taxes in order for them to receive the direct cash assistance. Early this week, it was reported that the IRS would require these individuals to file taxes, which created confusion among seniors in West Virginia and across the country on whether or not they would get access to the direct cash assistance.

“In this global pandemic, the last thing seniors should be worried about is more government bureaucracy keeping them from the assistance they need,” said Senator Capito. “I’m glad Treasury listened to the bipartisan concerns on this issue. West Virginia seniors can rest a little easier knowing their assistance will be in their bank accounts soon.”

Senator Capito has been fighting for West Virginia’s seniors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, including calling for bipartisan action to crackdown on scammers who are targeting West Virginia seniors. Additionally, Senator Capito also helped secure a number of important relief measures for seniors in the three bipartisan packages Congress passed and that are now law, including:

  • Broadlyexpanded Medicare’s telehealth services, so seniors can access more care and health services from home, including by telephone.
  • Included free diagnostic COVID-19 testing and free coverage of a future COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Provided additional funding for Aging and Disability Services Programs, which supports senior nutrition, home-delivered meals, community-based services, and family caregivers.
  • Required Medicare Part D plans to provide up to a 90-day supply of prescription medication if a senior requests this during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Capito has hosted multiple teletownhalls, speaking with constituents all across the state about their individual coronavirus concerns. She will continue to hold these regularly in an effort to hear directly from constituents, while also following social distancing guidelines.