More Than $34m in Federal Stimulus Checks Were Disbursed to New York Inmates, DOCCS Confirms

Over $34.3 million federal stimulus checks were issued to inmates of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community of Supervisions.

The spokesperson of the DOCCS has confirmed this news and the amount can come to help improve the morale of the inmates in the correctional centers. Money that is received by these inmates as stimulus checks will be deposited in their prison account.

Stimulus Checks Since Beginning

The covid-19 pandemic not only threatened the health of millions of Americans but also made many economically weak. Three Economic Impact Payments were disbursed to Americans for providing financial aid.

In April 2020, the federal government started sending $1,200 checks to American families. More checks were distributed to eligible Americans.

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To be specific, $600 and $1,400 were provided as the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplement Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan.

As per the statements made by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community of Supervisions, the inmates who qualified for receiving these payments got as many as three federal stimulus checks.

The total of the entire amount received till September 2021 was $34,303,315.81. 

There have been claims that many failed to get the deserving stimulus payment. So, for those individuals, they need to fill the IRS 2020 1040 form and also follow the directions for applying for receiving the rebate. 

The Judge’s Decision

The entire process of allocating stimulus payments for inmates was quite tedious. There was a lot of back and forth before finally releasing the payment. The case was taken to the court.

During the early years of the pandemic, 2020 to be specific, a U.S. judge clearly stated that the IRS must not hold the coronavirus relief payments that the imprisoned individuals deserved.

They must credit the payments for the betterment of the individuals. In March 2020, legislation was passed that authorized a maximum of $1200 per person. One point that must be noted is that there were no exclusions declared.

federal stimulus checks
federal stimulus checks

So, prison inmates are eligible to receive these payments even if they are locked behind the jail. 

According to this week’s Wall Street Journal, the U.S. District Court judge has provided approval to the federal prosecutors for using the $1,400 Covid-19 stimulus payment to fight the case of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Besides, the judge even gave access to use the money saved in the inmate trust account for making million-dollar payments to the victims and their families. 

If you go back to August 2021, a judge approved of using money from former Michigan sports doctor Larry Nassar that was saved in his prison account. The money has been used to pay the deserving amount to the victims who were unfortunate to get trapped in Larry’s child pornography crimes.

The total amount due is $58,000 and judges are ensuring that the victims are not getting cheated at all. In the current scenario, Nassar is getting $2,000 as economic payments and that money is being saved in his prison account.  

Now, the federal government has issued third stimulus payments as well. However, there has been no update or confirmation for the fourth stimulus payment. As 2022 brought a new covid variant, the businesses and offices are again closing the doors.

The unemployment rates may have decreased over the period but the risks of losing jobs are still prevailing. So, the federal government hasn’t come to a decision yet but if there is a fourth stimulus check, the inmates are going to receive it.

Until any further news, the Americans are keeping their hopes and fighting the new variant of covid.

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