Do you qualify for a stimulus check?

By Dwayne Daughtry (4/02/2020) — Citizens affected by the sex offender registry are statistically the highest group of unemployed people in the United States. The Sex Offender Registry and Notification Act (SORNA) requirements punish ex-offenders by inflicting upon them tangible, secondary punishments, like the inability to qualify for housing and increased difficulties securing employment. These secondary punishments effectively banish ex-offenders to a modern leper colony by not only removing re-entry resources but also by affirmatively ostracizing those attempting to rebuild a life after incarceration.

SORNA has an uncanny ability to disqualify registrants from seeking employment opportunities because of states that implement additional restriction laws or ordinances. Such methods are known as collateral consequences of the sex offender registry. 

Now that the COVID-19 virus pandemic is a present part of our lives, some registrants are asking if they qualify for funds from the stimulus package?  

For many registrants, the simple answer may be “yes!”. However, there are some steps to ensure those impacted by the registry receive stimulus funds promptly. This moment in our history may be the only period where those impacted by the registry are allowed to receive a federal benefit without being excluded. 

The IRS said the Treasury Department is developing a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the tax agency online. That will allow consumers to receive immediate payment instead of waiting for their checks to arrive in the mail. However, that portal isn’t yet available. 

The IRS said consumers should check this agency website for updated information about the stimulus payments. 

If I don’t provide direct deposit info, will my check be delayed?

According to media sources, some people without direct deposit information may not receive their checks until mid-August. The IRS will start making direct deposits in mid-April to those that have filed a 2018 and 2019 tax return provided they have included their banking information on the tax return by a return or refund method. 

Taxpayers that did not provide the IRS with banking information will receive paper checks. Those checks will be issued starting late August to early September.

I owe child support. Will that impact my check? 

Anyone owing child support will see a reduced check amount. But the average payout after garnishment should be around $700. 

I owe back taxes. Will that reduce my check?

No. The payments won’t be affected by taxes that you owe to the IRS or any other agency. 

I am behind on student loans. Will that impact my check?

No.

I am not required to file a tax return because I am not working. Will I receive a check? 

If you have not filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, more than likely, you will not receive a stimulus check. However, you may quickly file a 2019 tax return so that the IRS will know where you live and where to mail a check. But you must file your 2019 tax return quickly!

Will Social Security, SSI, or disability recipients get a stimulus check even if they didn’t file taxes?

Yes. The Social Security Administration tracks their income and will be able to get their check or direct deposit to them. Disability recipients do not apply to those receiving benefits from Veterans Affairs. 

What if I am a disabled veteran drawing a compensation rating (i.e. 10% to 100%)? Will I get a check? 

If you filed a federal tax return the IRS is using the addresses or direct deposit information on file from Americans’ 2018 or 2019 tax returns. Therefore, if you filed a tax return, even if the amount was zero dollars earned, you will receive a stimulus check.  A majority of those tax filings will be a mailed check instead of direct deposit. 

If you did not file a tax return despite receiving a disability compensation rating you may not receive a stimulus check. But those receiving a veteran’s disability compensation rating do qualify to receive a stimulus payment. To correct this, you should immediately file a tax return as soon as possible to trigger the IRS to send you a stimulus check. 

U.S. Senators sent a letter to the Secretaries of Veterans Affairs, Treasury, and Social Security Administration pleading to fix this broken issue.

What if I do not give the IRS my banking information?

Some people without direct deposit information may not receive their checks until mid-August.

What if I moved? What will happen to my check if mailed?

The IRS will send payments to the last address known on file based on the most recent tax return. Checks are prohibited from being forwarded by postal authorities, even if there is a forwarding address on file with the post office. Unclaimed or wrong addresses will be returned to the IRS for reprocessing at a much later time. 

Can prison inmates or civil commitment people get a stimulus check?

No. They are dependents of the state. However, those at half-way home programs or jail awaiting trial qualify for payment. 

Prison (federal and state) inmates that erroneously receive any government incentive or stimulus based program could be forced to repay or garnished by the government from a 2009 federal ruling. In a majority of these cases, payments may be redirected towards restitution programs flagged by the government as a part of the court agreement.

I am on probation or the sex offender registry. Do I qualify for a stimulus check?

Yes. 

What if I do not have a banking account but qualify for the stimulus check?

You will receive a check by mail.

How will I know if I have a stimulus check in the mail or direct deposit?

Watch your mailbox for a letter from the IRS. For security reasons, the IRS plans to mail a letter about the economic impact payment to the taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after the payment is paid. The letter will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment. If a taxpayer is unsure they’re receiving a legitimate letter, the IRS urges taxpayers to visit IRS.gov first to protect against scam artists.

What is the deadline to file and pay federal income taxes?

July 15, 2020

 

Editors note: Originally published 4/2/2020. Updated 5 PM, 4/11/2020.  This article has been updated as new or changed information becomes available.  

Dwayne Daughtry

Dwayne is NCRSOL's Executive Director.

9 thoughts on “Do you qualify for a stimulus check?

  • July 29, 2020 at 9:27 pm
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    Hi there my name is Joseph goebbel I was locked up in prison from October 10th 2017 till February 21st of 2020 I was released before the coronavirus pandemic exploded and I have not been able to find work I am having problems maintaining a dwelling but I wanted to know if I was eligible for the stimulus package is there any way you can let me know what I need to do

    Reply
    • July 29, 2020 at 9:41 pm
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      You may want to contact the IRS (www.irs.gov) for information about eligibility.

      Reply
  • May 16, 2020 at 9:52 am
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    I wonder, where several states bill, generally annually, men detained in civil commitment if they are really “dependents of the state.” For example, in New York, a claim against a detainee was presented for the period 10/21/2009 through 04/01/2014 for “daily charges.” The amount varied from $845.00 to $1,080.74, per day. The billing for the period 10/21/2009 through 11/30/2014 was $1,793,956.84. So, does this still meet a the definition of “dependent of the state?” In Kansas, if the administration is aware the individual has access to assets, he receives a bill. Also, when the guys work, within the center, a percentage of their pay is deducted for their “keep.” This does not seem to be an “open and shut” situation.

    Reply
    • June 30, 2020 at 11:49 am
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      If I was in prison 2018 and 2019 till November 24 2019 and heve been unable to obtain employment since my release am i elagable for a stimulus check.

      Reply
      • July 8, 2020 at 4:24 pm
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        At this time we are unable to provide individualized specific replies. I would suggest researching the irs.gov website or contact the IRS customer service number listed on its website.

        Reply
  • April 29, 2020 at 10:07 am
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    Do you know if an inmate that is incarnated that works for a McDonalds through work-release, with taxes withheld from their check, as well as room & board, are they eligible for the 2020 stimulus check?

    Reply
    • June 7, 2020 at 2:55 am
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      I was in prison til 2019 December 26th i am on supplemental social security so will i be eligible because ive was iut during the pandemic and i need all the help i can get

      Reply
      • July 31, 2020 at 2:50 am
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        My son was in prison from February 16, 2016 until May 9th, 2020…is he eligible for the stimulus check….he had not filed any taxes during that time.
        Thank you, I look forward to your reply.

        Reply
        • July 31, 2020 at 7:29 am
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          You may want to contact the IRS (www.irs.gov) or by phone for information about eligibility.

          Reply

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