The U.S. Treasury Department has announced that states can garnish third-round stimulus money paid to prisoners and apply the seized amounts to restitution and other obligations, reported The Hill.
Under the Trump administration, federal and state prisoners were allowed full stimulus payments without garnishment, the May 3 story reported.
The majority of Americans, including incarcerated people, were eligible to receive the Economic Impact Payment Program, also known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES).
“We strongly support state efforts to seize criminals’ Economic Impact Payments and to ensure that these payments benefit families victimized by crime rather than incarcerated criminals,” said Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in a letter to the Treasury.
According to the senators, the law that created the stimulus relief package allowed for the garnishment of the first round of payments, but not the second round.
“We think that’s money that should go to victims, not to inmates who have not been financially impacted at all by the pandemic,” said Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) to local WKRG radio station.
Stimulus checks to prisoners may be subject to garnishment for the following: Court-ordered payments to local and state government offices, payments to private creditors, fines related to crime, administrative court fees, restitution, and other court-ordered debts, reported The Hill.
To inquire whether a check has been lost, stolen, destroyed, cashed, or sent out, payees or family members can request a payment trace as follows:
Mail a completed Form 3911 to the following address:
Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0052
When using Form 3911, make sure you: Write EIP1 (first-round payment) or EIP2 (second-round payment) or EIP3 (third-round payment) on the top of the form to identify which payment you want to trace
Complete the form answering all refund questions as they relate to your stimulus payment
When completing item 7 under Section 1, check the box for “Individual” as the type of return, enter “2020” as the tax period; don’t write anything for the date filed
Sign the form (if you file a joint tax return, both spouses must sign the form).
Don’t send anything other than Form 3911.