CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Stimulus payments to Social Security recipients will be automatic, PG&E giving credits to its customers, Amazon stops selling masks, other novel coronavirus supplies to the public

ByMichael Finney and Simone Chavoor, Justin Mendoza KGO logo
Friday, April 3, 2020
CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Stimulus payments to Social Security recipients will be automatic, PG&E giving credits to its customers, and more
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CONSUMER CATCH-UP: The Treasury will use Social Security payment info to send automatic stimulus payments to Social Security recipients, PG&E is giving credits to its customers, and Amazon stops selling masks and other coronavirus supplies to the public.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Social Security recipients to get automatic stimulus payments after Treasury changes requirements

The U.S. Treasury Department announced Wednesday a change that will make it easier for Social Security recipients to get their stimulus payments.

Social Security recipients and other groups not usually required to file taxes are entitled to stimulus money. However, the Internal Revenue Service posted a notice on its website earlier this week saying that those people would have to file a simple return to receive the money. Now, the Treasury says it will use Social Security information on file to send the money to those who receive Social Security payments. They no longer have to file a tax return, and will receive the stimulus money automatically.

"Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

It is still recommended that those who make too little money from jobs to file a return still do so this year, so that the government can use that information to get them their money more quickly.

PG&E giving its customers credits on their April bills

PG&E customers will receive a credit on their April bill as a part of the California Climate Credit program, timely relief that will save customers money as the coronavirus pandemic strains budgets across the state.

Residential customers with both natural gas and electric service will get a credit of $62.91 for PG&E. Natural gas-only residential customers will get $27.18, and electric-only residential customers will get a credit of $35.73.

The California Climate Credit stems from state-mandated payments to the utility made by power plants, natural gas providers and other large industries in order to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. The credit to customers comes from those payments.

Amazon stops selling masks, other coronavirus-related supplies to public, redirects them to healthcare organizations

Amazon is no longer allowing consumers to buy N95 masks from their site, instead directing their stock to hospitals and other government organizations.

The online retailer rolled out a new section of their website dedicated to novel coronavirus-related products earlier this week. Representatives from approved organizations will be able to apply to obtain access to the products for sale, including face masks and shields, thermometers, gloves, gowns, and larger-volume containers of sanitizer.

"We will not make a profit from this service," Amazon writes. Amazon also waived the referral fees usually paid by third-party sellers to Amazon for each sale in order to encourage them to participate in the program.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.