79-year-old West Allis widow told she needs to send back her stimulus check

Posted at 8:53 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-07 23:38:34-04

People are getting their stimulus checks from the government, but for some they cannot cash them. A West Allis woman said her check was made out to her and her dead husband. Now, she isn’t sure what she should do.

Romelle Wilson, 79, lost her husband in January after a battle with cancer. Then she fell and broke her back. Now, she is home during this pandemic trying to figure out how take care of their medical bills by herself.

“I was married to that man 58 years. I met him when I was four-years-old. Now what?,” asked Wilson.

She thought help had come when her stimulus check arrived, but there was a problem.

“I received the check which is made out to my husband and myself,” said Wilson.

The advice the IRS had been giving was to void the check and send back if it is made out to a deceased person. The IRS had said it will issue a new check. However, Wilson is worried that won’t happen, so she called us.

“If I send it, are they going to toss it aside,” asked Wilson.

TMJ4 News reached out to the IRS and asked, what should someone do they have a joint check and one person is deceased. The IRS updated their answer to this:

“A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions in the Q&A about repayments. Return the entire Payment unless the Payment was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the Payment, in which case, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the decedent. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.”

In Wilson’s case she got the standard amount for a married couple, $2,400. In the IRS recommendations she should send back $1,200. Wilson said it is a check she will gladly write.

“We can get it done,” said Wilson.

Wilson left us to try to get her checked cashed. However, when she called her bank they refused to cash it for her saying they need to learn more about this change from the IRS. We will be following up with her and the bank.

For anyone else facing a similar issue with a stimulus check there are answers on the IRS website including where to return extra money.

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