Shriver Center Urges Illinois Use Recovery Rebate Offsets to Support Custodial Parents
April 30, 2020
The federal legislative response to the COVID-19 crisis has been unprecedented in scale. Although this pandemic has affected communities of color at rates that are shockingly disproportionate to the overall population, many low-income people who are most in need of additional support have been left out of massive federal programs created or expanded to address this crisis.
The CARES Act provides for recovery rebate payments for most Illinois individuals with incomes below $75,000; however, these stimulus payments are not protected from offset against debt owed for unpaid child support. Offset payments will come to the state as revenue that is not earmarked for a specific purpose.
The Shriver Center on Poverty Law has urged Illinois Governor Pritzker to use the revenue derived from offset recovery rebates to directly support families rather than fund state agency operations. California’s Governor Newsom has already taken similar action through executive order.
During a public health emergency that stands to make economic circumstances more precarious for many low-income people, the state should seek to support low-income families instead of easing state operations.
Systemic inequities and the legacy of structural racism make it harder for low-income people and people of color to achieve financial stability.