More than 100 coronavirus stimulus checks from the U.S., each worth at least $1,200, have been cashed at banks across Austria in recent days, the country’s public broadcaster ORF reported Monday.
Among the recipients was 73-year-old retiree Manfred Barnreiter from Linz. He told ORF that when he found a check labeled “economic impact payment, President Donald J. Trump” in his mail, he “thought it’s pretty interesting — let’s bring it to the bank.” He received the money three days after cashing it.
Barnreiter said while he doesn’t know why he qualified for a stimulus check — which the U.S. government began sending out to taxpayers in spring to cushion the economic fallout from the pandemic — he believes it’s because he worked in New Jersey as a waiter for a few years in the 1960s and as a result receives a small pension from the U.S.
However, he said his wife also received a stimulus check without having ever traveled to the U.S. (The U.S. payouts were limited to $1,200 per person but $2,400 per couple if their most recent tax return showed they jointly made less than $150,000.)
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