The Trump administration sent $ 1.4 billion in stimulus checks to dead people


The Trump Administration sent more than a million $ 1.4 billion stimulus checks to deceased people, according to data released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office: The surveillance report comes as lawmakers continue to disagree on how tackle the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.


The findings were part of a comprehensive report on the effectiveness of the billions in stimulus spending that the federal government has undertaken to cushion the economic blow from the coronavirus pandemic.

The GAO said the problem relates to how government agencies make data about who has died available: The IRS has access to death records from the Social Security Administration, but the Treasury Department arm that issued stimulus payments no.

As part of its report, the GAO recommended that Congress grant the Treasury Department access to that death data.

The GAO also recommended that the IRS consider its options for notifying individuals on how to return the payments they received promptly.

In May, the IRS issued a new guide clarifying that a “payment made to someone who died before receiving payment must be returned” and provided instructions for sending checks received in error.

However, it remains unclear whether survivors who received the checks in error are legally required to do so.


160.4 million. That’s the total amount of stimulus payments sent by the IRS. In total, those payments were worth $ 269 billion.


The GAO report also found that due to an error in the way payment calculations were made, nearly half a million households that used an online IRS tool for those who do not file tax returns did not receive payments from $ 500 for children they should have.

Key background

President Trump has told his aides that he supports sending another stimulus payment directly to Americans, the Washington Post reported earlier this week, even though some officials from his administration are not on board. According to the Send, who quoted three people familiar with the internal deliberations of the White House, Trump believes the payments will help boost the economy and thus his chances for re-election in the fall. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke in favor of sending another round of checks, while senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow opposes sending another round as big as the first.

Further reading

Here’s what is really happening with that second stimulus check: Trump is on board, but Republicans may not be. (Forbes)

When asked about the possible second stimulus control, Trump says there will be a second bipartisan package. (Forbes)

This is how you are likely to actually get another $ 1,200 stimulus check (Forbes)

Lawmakers are bitterly divided on how to get more cash stimulus for Americans (Forbes)