The Department of Revenue and Taxation (DRT) announced today that it has released its first batch of economic impact payments (EIP), which was paid for by local funds.
The initial wave of checks is targeted toward individuals who filed and had income of less than $10,000. Checks were transmitted to the Treasurer of Guam on Thursday and were mailed today.
“The first wave of checks are on the way,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. “While we prepare for the arrival of federal funds, the goal is to help those most in need as quickly as possible.”
To assist with social distancing at the island’s post offices and banking institutions, of the approximate 6,800 checks which have been printed, 3,200 are in the mail this week with the second batch slated for delivery in the next few days. After the implementation plan is finalized, mass processing of EIP checks to our island’s people should begin within a few weeks.
EIP is a federal stimulus program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act—the CARES Act, which the president signed on March 27. It provides Americans direct financial relief during the coronavirus pandemic.
Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and up to $500 for each qualifying child. The stimulus program applies to tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns.
On April 15, the Internal Revenue Service unveiled the new Get My Payment with features to let taxpayers check on their EIP date and update direct deposit information.
Meanwhile, Rep. Gregorio Kilili Sablan, the CNMI's delegate to Congress, said the U.S. Treasury has decided to issue most payments automatically to those receiving social security income and the funds will be direct deposited into bank accounts just like their monthly SSI payments.
In the CNMI, he said, there are approximately 1,018 SSI recipients, who may expect to receive theri recovery rebates in early May.
"An exception is for SSI recipients, who have dependent children under age 17. Those recipients will need to use the “non-filers enter info here” portal at IRS.Gov to enter social security numbers and other basic information about their children in order to get an additional $500 per child along with the $1,200 individual payment," Sablan said.
Additionally, any new beneficiaries since Jan. 1, 2020, of SSI benefits will need to go to the IRS’s non-filers website to enter their information.
Supplemental Security Income is a federal cash assistance program that provides monthly payments to low-income aged, blind, or disabled persons in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Northern Mariana Islands. SSI was a benefit negotiated in the Marianas Covenant of Political Union with the United States.
SSI is not available to residents of Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa.