While some wait for stimulus, some checks have made it to dead people

As of Wednesday, 80 million people had received their stimulus checks, which equal about $1,200 for many, but as others still await, the economic boost has arrived to the accounts of deceased Americans.

The IRS began dispersing $290 billion in direct cash payments this past week as part of the $2 trillion CARES Act stimulus bill. As part of the plan, IRS is sending checks between about $1,200 per individual to $2,400 per married couple to help them endure the economic effects of coronavirus pandemic.

According to social media chatter, several people have noticed that their deceased loved ones are receiving stimulus payments in their accounts. Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky shared earlier this week that his dad received a payment.

“Ok this is insane, but just the tip of the iceberg,” he wrote on Twitter. “This is a direct text to me from a friend. I called to confirm this actually just happened.”

Financial adviser and podcast host Scott Salaske tweeted that an acquaintance received word that his deceased spouse also received a check.

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According to CNBC, the $80 million in payments make up more than half of the $150 million expected to come to Americans through the Economic Impact Program. The IRS is aware of the deceased recipients issue and others that have brought questions about the stimulus program.

“We’re aware of all the survivor-related questions and we’re still working that issue,” IRS spokesman Eric Smith said. The Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.

Some Twitter users expressed frustration that they had not received a payment yet the reports of dead citizens receiving the money were increasing.

The most current stimulus package mistake is not the first.  More than 71,500 dead Social Security recipients received $250 stimulus payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to a 2010 report from the Social Security Administration’s Inspector General. Deceased Social Security recipients got $18 million of the $13 billion set aside for all Social Security recipients in that Obama-era stimulus package.

Even if the issue is a known one, the guidance on what to do about it is unclear, according to USA Today. As of Wednesday, the IRS had not given guidelines on its website for payments sent in error to the deceased.