January 21, 2022

New York inmates got $34 million in federal stimulus checks: DOCCS

(WETM) — Inmates at the New York State Department of Corrections and Community of Supervisions received more than $34.3 million in economic impact payments, according to a DOCCS spokesperson.

The federal government has distributed three Economic Impact Payments to Americans, starting with a check for $1,200 in April 2020 as a result of the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additional checks worth $600 and $1,400 were sent to eligible Americans through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan.

According to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community of Supervisions, as of September 2021, eligible inmates received up to three federal incentive checks totaling $34,303,315.81.

If an inmate did not receive a stimulus payment, they were given an IRS 2020 1040 form and instructions on how to apply for a discount.

Several courts have ruled on whether inmates are entitled to stimulus checks, although some have ruled that the money should go to victims’ restitutions.

In 2020, a US judge ruled that the IRS cannot withhold payments for corona measures of imprisoned people. Legislation passed in March 2020 that allows payments of up to $1,200 per person during the pandemic does not specifically exclude prison or prison inmates.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that a U.S. district court judge agreed to allow federal prosecutors to use convicted Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s $1,400 COVID-19 Stimulus Payment, as well as other money in his prisoner’s account, to help pay the millions of dollars he had to pay his victims.

In August 2021, a judge ordered the government to withdraw money from the former Michigan sports doctor’s prison bill Larry Nassar, who owes approximately $58,000 to victims of his child pornography crimes. Nassar had received $2,000 in economic impact payments at the time.

Stimulus checks were issued to millions of Americans based on eligibility requirements:

Eligibility for first stimulus and second stimulus checks:

residence: You are a US citizen, permanent resident or eligible alien.

Taxpayer Identification Number: You or your spouse has a valid social security number. You will receive the reimbursement for all tax applicants who have a BSN and all dependent children (if at least one parent has a BSN). If one of the spouses is a military member, only one of the spouses needs to have an SSN for both spouses to receive payment.

dependence: You are not charged with someone else’s tax return.

Income: First stimulusYour income for 2018 or 2019 is less than $99,000 (single or married filing separately) or $198,000 (married filing jointly). second stimulusYour income in 2019 is less than $87,000 (single or married filing separately) or $174,000 (married filing jointly). You are also eligible if you have no income.

Eligibility for third stimulus check:

residence: You are a US citizen, permanent resident or eligible alien.

Taxpayer Identification Number: Someone in your household has a valid Citizen Service Number (BSN). Any member of your household with a citizen service number can receive the payment. Dependents with SSNs or ATINs can receive a payment even if both you and your spouse do not have SSNs. If one of the spouses is a military member, only one of the spouses needs to have an SSN for both spouses to receive payment.

dependence: You have not been charged with someone else’s 2019 or 2020 tax return.

Income: Your income in 2019 or 2020 is less than $80,000 (single or married filing separately) or $160,000 (married filing jointly). You are also eligible if you have no income.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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