Will Inmates Get a Second Stimulus Check

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has issued a second round of stimulus checks. However, there is some confusion about whether inmates will receive these payments. The eligibility criteria for the second stimulus check are based on income, and inmates are generally not considered to have taxable income. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, inmates who work in prison industries may receive a small amount of taxable income. Additionally, inmates who receive Social Security benefits or other government assistance may also be eligible for the stimulus check.

Incarceration and Stimulus Eligibility

The second stimulus checks, authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, are generally available to U.S. citizens and resident aliens with a valid Social Security number who meet certain income requirements. However, there are some exceptions to this rule, including for individuals who are incarcerated.

  • Inmates are not eligible for stimulus checks if they are incarcerated on the date the checks are issued.
  • The incarcerated individual’s income while incarcerated is not considered when determining eligibility for a stimulus check.
  • Inmates who are released from prison after the stimulus checks have been issued may be eligible for a payment if they meet the other eligibility requirements.
Income Eligibility for Stimulus Checks
Filing StatusAdjusted Gross Income (AGI)Full Stimulus Amount
SingleUp to $75,000$600
Married, filing jointlyUp to $150,000$1,200
Head of householdUp to $112,500$600

Prisoner Access to Economic Relief

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the economy, and many people have lost their jobs or seen their incomes reduced.

In response to the economic crisis, the government has provided two rounds of stimulus checks to individuals and families. However, inmates in federal and state prisons are not eligible for these payments.

There are a number of reasons why inmates are not eligible for stimulus checks. First, inmates are not considered to be “taxpayers” under the law. Second, inmates are not able to file tax returns, which is a requirement for receiving a stimulus check.

The exclusion of inmates from stimulus checks has been criticized by some advocates. They argue that inmates are just as likely to be affected by the economic crisis as other Americans, and that they should be eligible for the same financial assistance.

The government has not yet indicated whether it will provide stimulus checks to inmates in future rounds of payments.

Disparities in Economic Support

The second stimulus check, also known as the Economic Impact Payment, provided financial assistance to individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, certain groups, including incarcerated individuals, were excluded from receiving this support.

  • Exclusion from Stimulus Checks: Inmates in federal and state prisons were ineligible for stimulus payments due to restrictions imposed by the CARES Act, which authorized the distribution of these funds.
  • Lack of Income and Resources: Incarcerated individuals often have limited access to employment and financial resources, making them particularly vulnerable to economic hardship during the pandemic.
Non-incarcerated individualsEligible for stimulus checks
Incarcerated individualsIneligible for stimulus checks

The exclusion of inmates from stimulus checks highlights the ongoing disparities in economic support and access to resources for incarcerated individuals. This disparity can have long-term consequences for inmates and their families upon reentry.

Inmates and the Second Stimulus Check: Navigating Reentry and Rehabilitation

The delivery of a second stimulus check has raised questions about the eligibility of incarcerated individuals. While the legislation excludes individuals claimed as dependents by another taxpayer, it remains unclear whether this applies to inmates. This article explores the potential impact of stimulus checks on inmates and their reentry and rehabilitation efforts.

Impact on Reentry and Rehabilitation

  • Financial Stability: A stimulus check could provide a financial cushion for inmates upon release, reducing the risk of recidivism by providing funds for housing, food, and transportation.
  • Rehabilitation Programs: Access to stimulus checks could support inmates in rehabilitation programs, enabling them to purchase educational materials, pay for therapy sessions, or cover the costs of job training.
  • Reintegration into Society: A financial boost from a stimulus check can aid inmates in reintegrating into society, facilitating the transition from prison to employment and stable housing.

Considerations for Inmates

It is important to note that while some inmates may qualify for a stimulus check, it is unlikely that the funds will be distributed while they are incarcerated. Instead, the check may be held until their release or disbursed to a designated recipient, such as a family member or guardian.

It is crucial for inmates to stay informed about their eligibility and to work with prison staff and legal authorities to ensure they receive their payment upon release. Additionally, inmates should plan how they will use the funds wisely to maximize their impact on reentry and rehabilitation efforts.


The potential for a second stimulus check to benefit inmates is significant, providing financial support and enabling them to access resources that can enhance their rehabilitation and reintegration into society. While eligibility and distribution remain uncertain, it is essential to consider the positive impact this assistance could have on reducing recidivism and promoting successful outcomes for incarcerated individuals.