Americans hit by economic shocks as confusion, stumbles undermine Trump’s stimulus effort

Small-business owners have reported delays in getting approved for loans without which they will close their doors, while others say they have been denied altogether by their lenders and do not understand why. The law’s provision to boost unemployment benefits has become tangled in dated and overwhelmed state bureaucracies, as an unprecedented avalanche of jobless Americans seeks aid.

Officials at the Internal Revenue Service have warned that $1,200 relief checks may not reach many Americans until August or September if they haven’t already given their direct-deposit information to the government. Taxpayers in need of answers from the IRS amid a rapidly changing job market are encountering dysfunctional government websites and unresponsive call centers that have become understaffed as federal workers stay home.

Adding to the confusion were several last-minute changes enacted by federal officials to cornerstones of the relief effort, including a revision to the rules of the small-business loan program hours before it went live and the late cancellation of a requirement that Social Security recipients file a tax form before receiving their relief checks.

The administration is under immense pressure to get the money out into the economy fast.

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