Stimulus check update – Two million people in California didn't get $1,400 relief payments in botched rolloutApril 28, 2021
A NEW study has revealed that more than two million California residents did receive any of their three stimulus checks due to a botched rollout.
The research from the California Policy Lab claims that 2.2million low-income Californians who are enrolled in safety-net programs fell into a "stimulus gap."
They may have lost out on $5.7billion in relief funds in total, despite being eligible, the Berkley-based lab claims.
The Policy Lab also warns that these residents “likely did not receive these or prior stimulus payments automatically and may be in danger of not receiving them at all.”
“The IRS was able to get payments out fast to most safety-net enrollees in California," the report published earlier this month said.
"But in its speed, we estimate that 25% of California’s safety-net enrollees did not automatically receive all payments for which they were eligible.
"Across all three rounds of the stimulus, roughly 6.6 million Californians enrolled in safety-net programs automatically received (or will soon receive) an estimated $18 billion in automatic stimulus,” the study, entitled "The Stimulus Gap," added.
“However, we estimate that 25% of safety-net enrollees, some 2.2 million Californians, are caught in the Stimulus Gap and may miss out on approximately $5.7 billion in stimulus payments.”
Since April 2020, these qualifying residents have lost out on $3,200 per person across the three stimulus packages.
It includes an estimated 424,000 Californians who filed a tax return in 2018 but not in 2019.
Two-thirds of adults in the stimulus gap – about 880,000 people – are single and without dependents.
However, the gap may also include an estimated 360,000 dependents.
NON-FILERS IN STIMULUS GAP
The lab advises those who believe they may have slipped through the cracks to file 2020 tax returns, even if they normally would not.
This will trigger the process and give the IRS the information needed to process the third $1,400 stimulus check payment.
However, the authors of the study also called on the IRS to bring the Non-Filers Tool back to their website.
The online tool allowed those Americans who do not generally file taxes but who were eligible for the first two stimulus payments to register their details to receive the payment.
It also allowed taxpayers to claim their Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit, National Interest reports.
The tool was not available for the third stimulus relief package.
"The IRS reposting its online Non-Filers Tool immediately would be a good first step, and partnering with state human-services agencies would also help get these stimulus payments out quickly to people caught in the Stimulus Gap," report author Aparna Ramesh said.
It comes as California is offering its own $600 extra stimulus check to its residents.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law in February that approved the one-time payment.
It was introduced in order to "support low-income Californians" and "help those facing a hardship die to Covid-19."
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