Stimulus cash hits a dead end

U.S. accidentally issues $22.3 million in stimulus funding to dead or incarcerated people

About $12 million in United States stimulus payments is probably collecting dust, or interest, in the bank accounts of dead people. In May 2009, the Social Security Administration was asked to distribute one-time payments of $250 each, worth about $13 billion in total, as part of the economic-stimulus package passed in February 2009. As it turns out, about 89,000 of those stimulus payments went to dead or incarcerated people. Of the total $22.3 million in mistaken payments, about $12 million hasn’t been returned. The majority of those payments would have been legitimately issued, according to a report by the inspector-general, if the target recipients had still been alive. As for the incarcerated recipients, a legal loophole caused the error—the provisions for preventing stimulus money from going to inmates only barred payment to people incarcerated in the three months prior to the plan’s passage.

Wall Street Journal

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