Imagine looking forward to receiving free money from the government amid a financially devastating global pandemic only to find out that you won’t be getting a dime (or your check will be significantly reduced) because your spouse owes child support.
That’s exactly what happened to a number of married women all over the United States, based on a number of social media posts we’ve seen since last week when coronavirus stimulus checks were first issued.
A number of women who married men who had children by other women took to social media last week angry that most, if not all, of the money they were supposed to receive was taken to pay their husband’s child support debt.
It was already known that those who owed child support would not be receiving CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act stimulus checks if they owed more than $1,200 … or whatever they owed would be taken from the $1,200 (plus the $500 for each child).
However, most people assumed that would only apply to their spouse.
Many women were surprised to find out that THEIR checks were taken as well, even those that have in the past been approved for injured spouse relief, which is reserved for taxpayers who have lost some or all of their tax refunds due to their spouse’s solely owed debt.
“I filed injured spouse and they still took my money for my husband’s debt,” one woman shared. “Completely pissed.”
Another woman who felt her pain wrote: “Same! I’m so mad right now. Like this money is to help people struggling from this pandemic. Student loans and IRS debts weren’t [affected] so they shouldn’t have done to us.”
That same woman said in a follow-up comment: “I’m all for my husband needing to support his other child, no doubt he made her he should pay for her, but this money was not meant for that.”
And it’s not just currently married women dealing with this issue either. Uncle Sam seems to have even snatched COVID-19 relief funds away from divorced women as well.
“I was married and had to file an injured spouse claim the 2 years we were married because he owed a huge amount of child support,” said one mother. “We are divorced now and mine and my 9-year-old daughter’s stimulus check went to pay his old child support debt. Now we have nothing.”
Said another: “I had to file an injured spouse form due to my husband owing back child support. Now they have taken my entire stimulus as well. Is there no help for mothers and children? My children are not his, I do not owe his debt. Yet my 10 year old child’s money was taken for his debt!”
Meanwhile, House Democrats have proposed two new stimulus packages that will help Americans on a monthly basis instead of just one check.
One proposal (Emergency Money for the People Act) would provide Americans over the age of 16 with a $2,000 monthly check for up to 12 months, while another, called the Mortgage Cancellation Act, would cancel rent and mortgage payments through the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.