Urgent Announcement: Prisoners Eligible for Stimulus Checks

court rules that inmates are eligible for CARES act stimulus checks.

Written by Melissa Bee

October 6, 2020

Prisoners are eligible for stimulus checks. See bottom of post for link to Facebook livestream event How to Get Stimulus Money for Incarcerated Citizens on Friday, October 9th – an in-depth presentation on how to apply for funds correctly.

Many of you have heard news about state and federal prisoners being eligible for stimulus checks. We’ve heard and seen lots of folks who believe this is only a rumor, warning that it would be fraudulent to apply.

We want to assure you that this is NOT a rumor. This is the result of a motion naming Steve Mnuchin, the Department of the Treasury, et. al., to stop withholding stimulus funds to incarcerated people. On September 24, a federal district court judge issued an order granting the motion. Read the order here.

We urge all our adopters to help their adoptees apply for their stimulus check – act FAST as the deadline is fast approaching.

People who did not file a 2018 or 2019 tax return are urged to file a claim with the IRS before October 15, 2020, in order to receive a payment. If the prisoner filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return or received Social Security Benefits or Railroad Retirement Board Benefits, they do not need to file a claim. However, if they did not file a 2018 or 2019 tax return and their income was below $12,200 (or $24,400 if filing jointly) in 2019, then a claim must be filed through the IRS’s website.

Prisoners without access to the internet can have someone file a claim for them, or they can complete a paper application. The instructions for a paper application are available here.

More information on the recent ruling regarding prisoners and CARES Act stimulus checks can be found here.

Note: This case also benefits people who were incarcerated both before and after March 27, 2020. If they were incarcerated both prior to March 27 and at least some time afterward, then the IRS may have denied them an Economic Impact Payment based on their incarcerated status. The Court’s preliminary injunction establishes that the IRS should not have done that. If they were only incarcerated before March 27, then they were unaffected by the IRS’s policy of denying benefits to incarcerated people, and should a have received a stimulus check. If they have not, they can file the same steps below to file a claim with the IRS, if eligible.



See here for the FAQ.

From National Right2Vote sawarimi.org:

SawariMedia is doing everything that we can to spread the word about the update and how to take advantage of it. In addition to posting this article update to our subscribers online we’re also hosting a webinar in partnership with Spread the Vote this Friday at 1:00p EST. Spread the Vote has already disseminated the information on the updated CARE Act to dozens in-house contacts at jail facilities that we are working with through the Vote by Mail in Jail program (new contacts can sign up to be a part of VbMiJ via that link).
Now that the information is out there, we need to make sure that people are equipped to take full advantage, so after applying for funds on behalf of my readers I’m putting together a presentation to support others through that process. For folks who need help or have questions, please join me on Friday, October 9 at 1:00p EST via facebook live for How to Get Stimulus Money for Incarcerated Citizens for a in-depth presentation on how to apply for funds correctly. People who would like to assist incarcerated citizens who do not have someone on the outside to apply online on their behalf are also encouraged to attend the facebook livestream. Please share with others, the webinar is open to the public and free to view.
Livestream Event Page: https://fb.me/e/1B8X21zYN
Registration/Question Submission: https://forms.gle/KAKfZX8yoBrBmMRcA

You May Also Like…


  1. Christina stripling on behalf of Kenneth young

    How can I help an inmate in Louisiana to receive his stimulas ? He has filled out the form before October 30 2020 but still has not received nothing . He doesn’t owe child support . I don’t know how to help on his behalf. . Any help would be gratefully appreciated .

  2. Melissa Schmitt

    For prisoners who filed but received no (or partial) payment, they need to file using the 2020 1040 form, and fill out line 30 for the Recovery Rebate Credit. Blank & sample forms and instructions are here https://caresactprisoncase.org/update-irs-publishes-guidance-on-how-to-obtain-stimulus-payments-from-prison-during-2021-tax-season/?fbclid=IwAR3QO7aMg2Xr5U8_vRblXyjCB1MFJrIkX4kywDHGF3xQ0YSDO6pBaPVM_bo. Institutions are required to provide the form and instructions, but it is being reported that some are not. You can print the form and instructions, and send to the prisoner to fill out and mail in.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This