STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — New Yorkers no longer need to worry about outstanding debt preventing them from receiving a stimulus payment.
On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation preventing debt collectors from garnishing coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus payments.
Any federal payment – stimulus checks, tax refunds, rebates and tax credits – are now protected.
“New Yorkers in every corner of the state felt the effects of the COVID pandemic, many losing jobs due to no fault of their own and struggling to support themselves and their families. This critical legislation will help ensure relief payments made to New Yorkers are protected from the unscrupulous debt collectors so that money can be used as it was intended – to help make individuals and families whole as they continue to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic,” Cuomo said.
New Yorkers who are subject to a monetary judgment against their bank account will receive a notice stating that COVID-19 funds are protected. Should funds have been inadvertently frozen by a debt collector, a form can be filled out and filed to return the funds.
Any New Yorker who has a stimulus payment taken by a debt collector after May 13 should filed a complaint with the state Department of Financial Services here.
The Internal Service Revenue is distributing more than 1.1 million payments with a value of more than $2 billion in the eighth batch of Economic Impact Payments from the American Rescue Plan, which intends to help Americans amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Americans previously received two other stimulus checks — $1,200 in March 2020 in the early pandemic, and $600 in December 2020. The third check includes up to $1,400 for single people and dependents and $2,800 for married couples.
That brings the total payments distributed to about 164 million — a total value of about $386 billion, since the payments began rolling out to Americans in batches as announced on March 12.
And now, many lawmakers are pushing for recurring direct payments throughout 2021 as part of a fourth government package.
But White House officials said the possibility of a fourth stimulus payment would be up to Congress.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked during a press briefing last week if the country will see another round of stimulus checks, or even checks every month until the pandemic ends, in either of President Joe Biden’s new proposals. Those proposals include the American Jobs Plan or the American Families Plan.
“We’ll see what members of Congress propose, but those are not free,” she said referring to the stimulus checks.
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