Yesterday morning I picked up the newspaper and was pleased to learn that some checks are being diverted to cover back child support, late federal loans, and/or outstanding tax payments. Apparently state and federal agencies can submit lists of debtors to the Treasury Department. Pending payments are then checked against the names and social security numbers on the list and redirected if necessary.
So far, nearly $1 billion in stimulus checks have been diverted to pay outstanding debts, and this number is expected to grow as the government continues mailing out checks (they’re only about half done). Thus far, 55% of the confiscated payments have gone to child support, 39% to federal debts such as student or farm loans, and 6% to unpaid state taxes.
If you haven’t received your check yet, it might be that the Treasury Department just hasn’t gotten to you yet. Alternatively, if some or all of your payment was redirected to an outstanding debt, you should receive a letter explaining why it was reduced or erased.