Deceased Ocean County residents are evidently still getting paid by the federal government.

Ocean County Freeholder Director Joe Vicari says some county residents have been receiving federal COVID-19 stimulus checks in the mail that are made out to dead relatives.

“The suddenness of the coronavirus outbreak and the federal government’s quick action to bolster the economy and assist resident’s means that in some cases checks have mistakenly been issued to deceased residents,” Vicari said in a statement.

Vicari said that he even received a check made out to a relative who had passed away more than two years ago.

He is asking any Ocean County resident who receives such a check in the mail to not cash it, but return it.

“Please do not attempt to cash these checks,” Vicari said. “Instead, simply check the box on the envelope you received and place it back into the mailbox. The check will then be automatically returned to the Treasury Department.”

Vicari cites federal government statistics that state that more than 89 million checks were mailed out in the first three weeks of the program and more than 150 million checks overall.

“With those kind of numbers some mistakes are bound to be made,” Vicari said. “Do the right thing. Check the box and return the check.”

Vicari explains that the federal stimulus program has been critical to Ocean County, where nearly 30 percent of the population is age 60 or older.

“In these very difficult times, both our seniors and our younger families are depending on these checks to help make ends meet,” Vicari said.

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