Today is the last day for eligible seniors to complete their applications for the pandemic Social Security Stipends, whether through the government portal, in person or via email, the Office of Management and Budget announced.
The portal is available through Friday by visiting www.omb.vi.gov, after which no new registration cases will be accepted online, via email, or in-person, said OMB Director Jenifer O’Neal.
The $500 stipends, announced in 2022 for Social Security recipients who are seniors or who are on disability, were provided under the pandemic American Rescue Plan Act. However, the rollout proved chaotic, with seniors standing in long lines in the hot sun to collect their checks when distribution began in November.
The funds, meant to help households respond to the negative economic impacts of the pandemic, came after a months-long process during which the V.I. government worked to resolve issues with addresses provided by the Social Security Administration for Social Security recipients in the territory, Government House said in November.
The government has since launched a website for those who still have not received their funds, and since the site’s go-live date of June 5, more than 1,100 applications have been received, with 800 already approved and submitted to the Department of Finance for processing, according to a press release announcing the deadline.
Benefit recipients may complete the registration process by visiting www.omb.vi.gov. The following documents are required to be uploaded:
- USVI Photo Identification which shows your full legal name, i.e., Driver’s License, local government-issued ID card, Senior Citizen ID card, or Voter’s Registration Card
- Social Security Card
- Copy of monthly Social Security payment statement or IRS Form SSA-1099 showing Social Security benefits prior to Oct. 1, 2022
- Complete current mailing address (must be a Virgin Islands address)
All web submission cases have been processed as of Thursday, according to the release. Residents are encouraged to monitor their emails, if provided, to ensure all required documents have been received by OMB. Applicants are also reminded to allow 4-6 weeks from the date of case approval for the check to be mailed via the U.S. Postal Service to the mailing address provided, the release stated.
The community’s patience is appreciated as efforts are being made to duly review and promptly navigate the process, said O’Neal.
Visit the agency’s website for updates. Recipients do not need to visit the OMB offices to provide any information, according to the release.
Inquiries may be forwarded via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.