Agencies get more help distributing COVID-19 relief in $2.3T catch-all

  • Agencies get more help distributing COVID-19 relief in $2.3T catch-all

    Posted by on December 23, 2020 at 12:19 AM

    Congress has again called on several federal agencies to help to disburse loans, economic stimulus payments and other direct aid to Americans during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

    The $2.3 trillion omnibus spending and COVID-19 relief package, which Congress passed late Monday night, is packed with provisions designed to help agencies get the job done quickly — and address pandemic-induced funding shortfalls at other federal organizations.

    It also drew on some of the lessons agencies and lawmakers learned in implementing the first major COVID-19 relief package earlier this year.

    The IRS received a modest budget boost for the rest of 2021, but Congress also included a few new provisions that might make it easier for the agency to disburse a second round of stimulus checks in the coming weeks.

    Americans earning less than $75,000 will receive a “recovery rebate” worth $600, according to the legislation. Married couples with a joint income of $150,000 or less will receive a stimulus payment worth $1,200, and families with children will receive $600 per child.

    IRS, for example, gained full access to SSA’s Death Master File, which the agency didn’t have when it sent out the first round of stimulus payments this spring. The Government Accountability Office recommended Congress give Treasury full access to the Death Master File after the IRS sent nearly 1 million stimulus payments to the dead earlier this year.

    Allowing Treasury full access should help the IRS better identify Social Security

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