Economics/Class Relations

Stimulus checks and other coronavirus relief hindered by dated technology and rocky government rollout

It’s government, folks. It’s government.

By Heather Long, Jeff Stein, Lisa Rein, Tony Romm

Washington Post

The national effort to get coronavirus relief money to Americans is at risk of being overwhelmed by the worst economic downturn in 80 years, as understaffed and underfunded agencies struggle to deliver funds.

Three weeks after Congress passed a $2 trillion package to lessen the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of households and small businesses are still waiting to receive all the help promised under the legislation, according to government data and firsthand accounts.

The bulk of the challenges have occurred with three initiatives designed to get cash to struggling Americans: $1,200 per adult relief payments that launched this week, $349 billion in Small Business Administration loans, and $260 billion in unemployment benefits for the more than 22 million people — and growing — out of work.

The SBA ran out of money to make small business loans this week, almost no unemployment aid has reached eligible self-employed and gig workers, and a significant number of Americans who were due to receive relief payments this week went on the IRS.gov website only to see this message: “payment status not available.”

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