More Than 600,000 Americans Didn't Get a Third Stimulus Check

More Than 600,000 Americans Didn't Get a Third Stimulus Check

The missing funds are estimated to be $1.6 billion.

Nearly 645,000 Americans who were deemed eligible for the American Rescue Plan-approved third round of stimulus checks had not received their $1,400 direct payments as of mid-September, according to a recently published report released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

“These include individuals who have an (individual taxpayer identification number) who did not receive a payment for their eligible dependents with a valid (social security number) and individuals who were eligible based on the IRS’s adjustment of their unemployment income exclusion from taxable income,” the report noted.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) disbursed payments to roughly 167 million people as of September 16, 2021, which came out to about 99.5 percent of the total. The missing funds are estimated to be $1.6 billion.

Will They Get Checks?

Per CNBC, “the number of people affected who’ve gotten a payment since mid-September is unclear.”

The business news outlet added that a spokesperson at the tax agency “wasn’t able to elaborate on the contents of the report … (though the) data suggests many of them have gotten their funds or that the IRS is evaluating the payments.”

“Delivering these payments was no small undertaking,” Kenneth Corbin, commissioner of the IRS wage and investment division, wrote in a response to the Treasury report, published by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, a watchdog within the Treasury Department.

“Employees in various IRS offices collaborated to improve delivery of payments each of the three times Congress passed stimulus legislation, so that by the third round, checks started going out the very next day providing immediate help to people across the country,” he continued.

The report also revealed that more than 1.2 million total payments worth nearly $2 billion were sent out to people who likely weren’t eligible. Some may have been ineligible dependents, non-residents, and duplicate payments made to families who changed their tax-filing status, CNBC added.

More Rounds Ahead?

Over the course of the two-year-long pandemic, Congress approved three stimulus checks for most Americans—a $1,200 check in April 2020, a $600 one in December, and the $1,400 payments given the go-ahead last spring.  

However, despite those timely checks, many citizens have been calling for another round of direct payments to help blunt the effects of the current high-inflationary pressures that have reached a four-decade high.

But some experts contend that approving more stimulus checks could potentially bring about other issues going forward.

“Overall, there is no great solution to the inflation problem,” Michael Hayes, associate professor of public policy at Rutgers University, told The Hill.

“Another round of stimulus checks, even if targeted to the lowest income group, would only provide short-term relief at the risk of mid-term/long-term problems,” he continued.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Image: Reuters.