CARES Act Stimulus Relief for Incarcerated Recipients


On September 24, 2020, Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an Order certifying a nationwide class of people incarcerated in state and federal prisons, and granting the plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction requiring the U.S. Department of Treasury, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and the United States of America to stop withholding CARES Act stimulus funds from plaintiffs or any class member on the sole basis of their incarcerated status.

BREAKING NEWS: The IRS has stopped processing CARES Act applications for the 2020 calendar year. If you filed a timely application it is possible your check is still in the mail. If you do not receive a check in the mail within the next couple of weeks, you may need to reapply in early 2021 during the 2020 tax return cycle. We will provide more information about that process as soon as the IRS makes it available.

Previous CARES Act Application process (2020)

On October 14, 2020, Chief Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the Northern District of California granted in part the Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment against the Internal Revenue Service, Department of the Treasury, Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig. Read a copy of the Judge’s Order.

The Court’s holding converts the preliminary injunction entered on September 24, 2020 into a permanent injunction. As a result, the IRS is required to stop denying stimulus relief to people who are incarcerated solely for that reason.