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Monday, November 23, 2020

A Major Portion of the Stimulus Checks Would Be Going to the Incarcerated People, Has Been Ruled By Judges

Prisoners would be getting yet another chance at receiving the stimulus check which was given out this spring by the Government. Phyllis J. Hamilton, the Judge at the US District Court for the Californian Northern District brought out a ruling that stated that the Federal Government had no right to withhold stimulus checks from people– on the basis of their incarceration. At this point in time, there are close to 1.5 million people incarcerated in the country. Incidentally, most of the incarcerated public do meet the requirements for their stimulus payments- as put forward by Yaman Salahi. Yaman Salahi happens to be a partner at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, which has been representing the incarcerated people for this case.

Close to 85,000 incarcerated humans have already received stimulus checks for a cumulative total of $100 million in the previous months. But, the Government decided to reverse its course and argue that they were ineligible for such a payment. In lieu of that, the court has also given strict orders to the IRS to start correcting the information that is provided on its website. The IRS did update their information portal, as the answer to ‘Does an incarcerated person qualify for stimulus checks?’ turned into the agency not being able to deny any human being the stimulus check- who met the requirement. 

stimulus check
Stimulus Check for the Imprisoned
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There are certain qualifications that will make one eligible for a stimulus check. An individual who is a legitimate US citizen, or a permanent resident- someone who has not been claimed as a dependent for someone else’s tax return- and one who has an annual income much less than $99,000 can qualify for the stimulus check. 

How prisoners were excluded from the Stimulus Checks?

The CARES Act which was passed in March by Congress didn’t have any amendment to exclude incarcerated people from stimulus checks. Precisely why the government then began sending such stimulus checks in April through direct deposit. At that particular time, most of the prisoners were included. But in May, the U.S Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration decided to have an identification on the incarcerated and deceased people as two different groups who were receiving stimulus checks. And that is how the IRS then removed this answer from its list of FAQs to reply in the negative as to if the prisoners would be held eligible. 

Key deadlines approaching for stimulus checks

Now the main challenge that stands before them is informing the incarcerated folk that they are still eligible for a stimulus check. For, the government is appealing the decision of the district court in having the IRS send several mail notices to prisoners all around the country regarding their eligibility. But there is a catch- strict deadlines have been set up for people who are incarcerated and who don’t really have their information recorded with the IRS. They can fill in by November 21- using the online portal brought up by the IRS. 

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This online form might get a bit problematic for the incarcerated people to complete- simply because there are several prisons that don’t allow prisoners to have email accounts or access to the internet. In this case, registering for a stimulus check might be a bit problematic. 

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