More than a million Americans who had died received COVID-19 stimulus payments totaling $1.4 billion, a government watchdog said in a report to Congress released Thursday.
The finding is part of a sweeping review of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by the Government Accountability Office, an independent nonpartisan congressional agency. The report paints a clearer picture of what critics called a muddled rollout by the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department of more than 160 million payments worth $269 billion.
Congress passed a massive $2 trillion stimulus package, called the CARES Act, in March to soften the economic blow of the coronavirus pandemic for American workers and businesses.
Eligible Americans received checks, called Economic Impact Payments, based on their 2018 or 2019 income tax returns, or by filling out a simple tax return. Individuals making up to $75,000 a year received checks for $1,200 and couples making up to $150,000 and filing a joint tax return received $2,400, with an additional $500 per qualifying child. The payments decreased for those making more than $75,000, with an income cap of $99,000 per individual or $198,000 for couples.