stimulus checks

Stimulus Slip-Ups: Deceased Receiving Stimulus Checks

There are reports of deceased Americans receiving stimulus checks

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Stimulus checks sent to the dead. It doesn’t sound like what the federal government intended to do with money aimed at helping during the coronavirus crisis.

It has happened in Connecticut.

Avon accountant Nancy Muench said her mother received a stimulus check. Her mom died last September.

Nancy Muench with her Mom, Norma Walker, on Mother's Day, 1994

The $1,200 check was even marked, “DECD.” 

“It was marked deceased obviously they know she’s deceased, so, it was just sort of stunning to me that they actually gave her a check,” Muench said.

An inspector general report said almost 72,000 deceased Social Security recipients received $250 stimulus payments during another hastily put together program to help people - the Obama era relief package during the great recession, so this is not without precedent.

“It’s salt in the wound to those people who are waiting for their checks and can’t get them,” Muench added.

That’s why Muench said she plans to check the box on the envelope she received that says “If recipient deceased”, and send it back. 

“I will not cash it, it was not, not mine, and it’s not my mom’s either.  She was not entitled to it.”

Muench and many others may not have to send the checks back.  NBC News reported earlier this month the Treasury Department may allow heirs to keep the stimulus checks sent to the deceased.  

We reached out to the Treasury Department and the IRS for an update but have not heard back. 

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