Dead People Will Likely Receive Checks Under Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Stimulus

Dead People Will Likely Receive Checks Under Biden’s $1.9 Trillion Stimulus

Joe Biden’s newest round of coronavirus stimulus legislation isn’t designed to bring dead people back to life, but that won’t stop them from receiving the $1,400 direct checks if the legislation passed in its current form.

From Just the News:

Direct stimulus payments will go to deceased people if the Democratic-led Congress passes President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan, according to Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste.

The IRS has previously sent stimulus payments to some who have died.

Congress passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act last March. After former President Trump signed it into law, people were reporting that their deceased relatives received stimulus checks or direct payments in their checking accounts.

The reason for the strange accounting, Schatz said, is that stimulus payments are sent out based on previous years tax returns. But some people that filed those returns don’t live long enough to see the new stimulus checks.

“So if somebody paid taxes two years ago, or last year, and has now passed away, that check is going to show up,” Schatz said. “And of course, there’s fraud related to that as well, people keeping the names of their deceased relatives or parents or siblings and just collecting checks, and they would qualify too, unfortunately.”

But a required change of the law to prevent the payments attempt at stimulating the dead is nowhere to be found in the lastest 1,000 plus page bill.

“[T]he problem that caused the money to go to these people last time has not been fixed, and it’s a relatively simple fix,” Schatz said. “The Social Security Administration has what’s called the master death file. It is not shared with the Internal Revenue Service, it is shared with other agencies, but not the one where you would really want it to be shared, which is the IRS.”

“And there has been legislation to change that,” Schatz continued, “because apparently it requires a law for one agency to share information with another. And if they don’t fix that, which I do not see in this 1,000-plus page bill, they are going to once again send checks out to dead people.” 

Schatz said paying dead people stimulus money is a problem that goes back further than the coronavirus pandemic, noting that former President Barack Obama’s economic recovery stimulus payments in 2009 were shipped to over 90,000 dead or incarcerated people.

“It’s not just the stimulus checks, it’s other payments that go to people who are deceased, because again, they don’t have a complete and full accounting of information not just at the federal level, but sometimes states have information that doesn’t get up to the federal level about people who have passed away as well,” he said. “It’s a matter of management — mismanagement, really.”

Democrats have forged ahead with Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan through the budget reconciliation process, eliminating the need for GOP support thanks to the process only requiring a simple majority vote to pass items in the Senate.

But not all has gone according to plan for Democrats along the way, with Republicans forcing a vote on a provision in the bill that would have raised the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. That item was rejected by a majority of Senators, meaning it will not be in the final legislation.

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