Residents of Puerto Rico who also receive Social Security payments will be forced to wait until June before their stimulus check arrives. As CBS News reported on Friday, that would make them among the very last of U.S. citizens to receive the payments.
"It is anticipated that beneficiaries in the territories could begin receiving their Economic Impact Payment in early June," the Social Security Administration said. The payments for those in Puerto Rico, as well as American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands are also weeks away. It's due to certain rules that require tax authorities in each territory to disburse the stimulus funds accordingly. The Treasury Department currently estimates roughly 87 percent of recipients have received their checks.
Roughly 900,000 Social Security recipients live in the various U.S. territories, with about 90 percent of them in Puerto Rico. There have been additional issues with social security recipients across the U.S., as they aren't always required to file taxes, meaning the IRS doesn't always have the most current information on them. The IRS had previously set deadlines aimed specifically at social security recipients to update that info via the Get My Payment portal online.
It was also reported earlier this week that those 8 million people who do receive Social Security benefits could start receiving their checks as soon as Thursday or Friday. The Social Security department had even published a detailed information packet aimed to help recipients understand the stimulus payments.
"The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), not the Social Security Administration (SSA), will send all payments electronically or paper checks by mail," the form read, in part. "We documented for you different scenarios to help explain what actions, if any, you may need to take to receive your economic impact payment and any payment for a qualifying child. However, only the IRS can answer questions you may have about your personal or family situation. Please do not call SSA with your payment questions."
The stimulus payments were part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which was passed at the end of March and aimed at keeping the economy afloat amid widespread shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus. There's been a much-talked-about second stimulus package, as the one-time $1,200 payment was widely panned as not being effective enough to stay afloat. After some waffling on the issue, the most recent reports indicate that President Donald Trump is in favor of a second payment.