Stimulus checks: 70% of payments sent to dead people has been recovered
News that 1.2 million stimulus checks were sent to deceased individuals will undoubtedly have angered those yet to have recieved their payments.
While many living Americans are still waiting to receive their first stimulus check to arrive four months after the payments began rolling out, some 1.2 million payments totaling $1.6 billion had already been sent out to dead people, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report issued in June.
In total some 164 million checks have now been disbursed under the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, known as the CARES Act, passed in March, which provided a one-off direct payment of $1,200 to eligible Americans, plus $500 per child.
And the news that 1.2 million of those checks were sent to deceased individuals will undoubtedly have angered those yet to get their payments and is seen as yet another major blunder in the Trump Administration’s coronavirus response.
"The number of economic impact payments going to decedents highlights the importance of consistently using key safeguards in providing government assistance to individuals," said the GOA in its June report.
Stimulus checks: 70% of $1.6bn payments to dead people have been recovered
However, 70% of the $1.6 billion in stimulus payments that were sent to decedents has now been recovered, according to information passed to the GOA by the Treasury Department. Although the GOA has said it is yet to verify this amount in its latest report released on Monday.
"We were unable to verify that amount by the time we finalized our work on this report," the GAO said in its report. "We are working with Treasury to determine the number of payments sent to decedents that have been recovered."
In its June report, the GAO had advised the IRS to look into cost-effective means to inform recipients about how to return stimulus payments that they were ineligible for.
In its report on Monday, the GAO stated that the "Treasury and IRS have taken steps to implement this recommendation and are considering further actions."
The IRS website has provided instructions on how to send back stimulus checks that were administered to deceased individuals, while the Treasury has held and cancelled some payments sent to decedents, according to the report.
“The position of the White House is that the WHO needs to reform and that is starting with demonstrating its independence from the Chinese Communist Party,” explained Nerissa Cook, deputy assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs.
“We are advocating for greater transparency and greater accountability and we want to see speedier and higher quality of communications,” Cook said, adding that the administration wants “to see very strong management and focus on the prevention and detection and response to pandemics.”