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Economy

Many Qualifying Americans Don’t Receive Stimulus Checks, Prisoners and Deceased People Do

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A new report by a government watchdog agency found that over a billion dollars in stimulus money allocated by the CARES Act was sent to deceased people. This news comes as stories surface about the government attempting to retract payments accidentally given to prisoners.

The Government Accountability Office found that as of April 30, nearly $1.4 billion had been sent to deceased individuals, in over a million separate payments.

According to Politico, the Internal Revenue Service was under the impression that checks should be mailed to the deceased, but quickly reversed the decision.

“The administration later reversed itself, and began trying to block payments going to the dead while asking survivors to return those that did slip through,” Politico reports. “The report does not say what prompted the agency to reverse course, when it decided to change direction or who made the decision.”

The agency was under pressure to get the payments out quickly and the “IRS counsel subsequently determined that IRS did not have the legal authority to deny payments to those who filed a return in 2019, even if they were deceased at the time of payment,” the GAO told Politico.

Prisoners also received the long-awaited ‘Trump check,’ and now the government wants them back, TIME reports. The group is not specifically excluded from receiving payments, creating a loophole for those behind bars to received old-age and survivor insurance benefit payments,” according to the report.

The IRS doesn’t have a clear indication of how much money was issued to prisoners, but according to TIME, The Kansas Department of Correction claims to have stopped over $200,000 in the checks by June, and, in Idaho in Montana, $90,000 of additional checks were obtained.

While deceased individuals and prisoners received money, many law-abiding and living Americans did not.

CNBC reported on information found by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimating 12 million people may not receive their stimulus checks. The report indicated that an estimated 159 million checks had already been sent out.

The report also named those who haven’t worked for a long period of time, low-income adults without children, and low-income families with children, as the highest at risk for not receiving the money.

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Economy

Michigan asks residents to house migrants, enroll children in school and help adults find employment

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Michigan is asking its residents to help with the mess its leadership created and house migrants in their own homes. The state Department of Labor and Economic Development said volunteers who participate must commit for at least 90 days as part of the refugee support program.

In addition to opening up their homes, sponsors are expected to support newly arrived refugees by greeting them at the airport, securing and preparing initial housing, enrolling children in school and helping adults find employment.

“Programs like the Welcome Corps advance the Office of Global Michigan’s mission to make Michigan the home for opportunity for our immigrant, refugee and ethnic communities,” said Poppy Hernandez, Global Michigan Director and Michigan’s Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer. “Expanded refugee resettlement pathways empower more Michiganders to support our state’s growing refugee population and build a more welcoming and inclusive Michigan for all.”

The migrants will come from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela, all points of origin where many have been hoping to apply for asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Fox News reports “cities like New York and Chicago have also dealt with issues related to migrants committing crimes, as well as pushback from residents who have voiced anger and concern over the influx. Migrant shelters in those cities have largely been full, forcing officials to come up with ways to safely house the migrants.”

Last year, Massachusetts officials asked residents to open their doors as migrant shelters were full at the time. “Most importantly, if you have an extra room or suite in your home, please consider hosting a family. Housing and shelter is our most pressing need and become a sponsor family,” said Massachusetts Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll.

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