Stimulus check update – Here's what to do if your spouse receives a Covid relief payment after they've died

THE IRS has issued advice on what to do if you receive a third $1,400 stimulus check for a spouse who has died. 

The government body has now sent out 160million payments, including a new round of checks last week for people who recently filed their 2020 tax returns. 

However, some of the $1,400 stimulus checks have been issued to people who have passed away as the payments were made based on 2019 or 2020 tax returns. 

If you received a check for a late spouse, you may have to send it back, the IRS advises. 

“Individuals who were deceased before January 1, 2021, if they received a payment, that money will have to be returned to the IRS,” IRS rep Luis D. Garcia told MLive. 

“If you filed a joint return for last year, a 2020 return, you’re eligible for the $1,400. 

“It’s when the return was filed, not what year it was filed. If the spouse died after the filing, you can keep it," Garcia added.

If the stimulus check was issued in the late spouse’s name but you are still eligible for the money, a new payment can also be requested. 

The original check must be returned to the IRS along with a letter requesting that the new payment be issued in the surviving spouse’s name. 

The IRS advises that the social security numbers of both spouses be included in the letter. 

A paper check that has not been cashed can be made void and returned to the Treasury. 

If the original payment was made through direct deposit, a personal check or money order can be made out to the IRS office for your state and sent with an explanation of the reason for returning the EIP.   

It comes ahead of President Joe Biden sending out a letter to tens of millions of Americans to tout the success of his $1.9 trillion stimulus relief bill.

Within weeks, all Americans who were eligible for the third round of stimulus checks under Biden's America Rescue Plan will be reminded by mail who was responsible for sending them the $1,400 payment.

The letter, sent via the IRS, will be full of self-praise for promises the president kept according to Insider, who obtained an advanced copy of the note.

Yet Biden has been hit with criticism over the move.

Support has been gathering among Democrats for either a fourth round of stimulus payments or recurring monthly checks until the pandemic ends.

Biden is being urged to include more COVID relief in the $2.3 trillion Build Back Better infrastructure plan he is now formulating.

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