WASHINGTON, D.C. – A change was made to the IRS website in early May after a KFOR report about a man receiving a stimulus check written to his deceased mother reached Washington, D.C.
“Wow that Channel 4’s reporting on it was seen by somebody even though it wasn’t local that was able to go get it in front of the government, and it was going to help people and me,” said Otis Wokaty.
The KFOR report aired April 28. It was about Wokaty, a man who lives in Midwest City, receiving a stimulus check from the U.S. government. However, it wasn’t written out to him. Instead, it was written to his mother who has been dead since 2018.
“How did it get over to me and I still don’t have an answer to that,” Wokaty said back in April.
Wokaty said that report reached all the way to Washington, D.C., sparking a change to the website.
“I was told that you all’s video was definitely a contribution,” he said.
Wokaty added that he has a contact who is in a position to meet with the U.S. Department of Treasury. He saw the report and decided to show it to them.
“They did update the IRS site with instructions about how to return checks or what to do, like in my case of a direct deposit,” he said.
We checked. The changes can be seen in the Q&A section. Question 10 tells the public that deceased individuals are not eligible to receive a stimulus payment under certain circumstances. Then, it offers a link to instructions at Question 54, telling you how to return it to the government.
“They hadn’t thought through that and probably other areas as well. Gee, what if they get to the wrong person, or what if the person’s deceased,” Wokaty said.
The U.S. government took action less than a month after Wokaty said he had nowhere to turn.
“It’s not my money. There’s so many folks who need government money, and needing to reach out figure out how to fund more,” Wokaty said in April. “Trying to make sure that there’s not an IRS impact down the road with penalties or interest or confusing returns.”
Now, he’s working on returning his check.
“I thought it was great that they responded or reacted that quickly,” he said.
Wokaty said he followed the instructions and it told him to send his check, with a note and verification, to the Internal Revenue Service in Austin, Texas. He said they received it, but he is still waiting to hear back from them in regard to processing it.