In the month since the CARES Act was signed, the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package, the IRS has sent stimulus payments to more than 122 million Americans. There were plenty of concerns about the stimulus program when it was unveiled, but so far it’s managed well. There have been some hiccups, like people receiving the wrong amount of money or deceased people getting checks. For the most part, however, the rollout of these checks has been well-handled.
But millions of Americans that do qualify for relief have not gotten their check yet. If you’ve waited weeks without any updates, it’s understandable to be confused or nervous. There are a few reasons you may not have gotten your check yet, and some ways to try and fix it. If you’re confident you qualify for relief, first thing’s first, the check is coming, so don’t worry.
Here’s how to check the status of your payment and get your piece of the pie and some peace of mind.
IRS Payment Tool
The IRS is in charge of disbursing stimulus payments, so IRS.gov is a good place to start. If you want to double-check that you’re eligible for a stimulus payment, they have a comprehensive FAQ you can check out. Generally speaking, any individuals who reported less than $99,000 in income should get a check, as well as couples who reported less than $198,000.
You can also use the IRS’s “Get My Payment” tool to check the status of your stimulus check. In many cases, you’ll be able to find the reason you haven’t gotten your check there. For instance, if the IRS doesn’t have your direct deposit information, you’re getting a paper check. Most of the payments so far have been direct deposits, and only a few million physical checks have gone out.
There’s a chance you might have to wait to get yours in the mail, but the IRS tool can show you that. If you don’t have your direct deposit information on file and your check hasn’t been mailed, there’s still time to update your info and get the money via wire transfer.
In April the House of Representatives estimated it could take five months for every relief check to go out, so in some cases, waiting is the only option. It’s obviously not ideal, but the money is coming.
Check Your Documents
When this program started, details were hard to come by. At first, things were pretty confusing, but the IRS has done a good job of clearing everything up. If you haven’t gotten your check yet, check this chart to see if you may not have filed any crucial info the IRS needs to pay you.
This would also be a good time to check the bank information the IRS has on file for you. If you took out a refund anticipation loan for your last tax return, for instance, your loan provider also set up a separate bank account that your tax return was sent to. If that’s the case, the IRS may have sent your check to that defunct account as opposed to your actual bank. You’ll still get your stimulus, but it may take a few extra weeks if that happened.
U.S. Postal Service
If you’ve confirmed you’re getting your check through the mail, you can track it in real-time. The U.S. Postal Service offers a free Informed Delivery program that you can use to preview and manage mail.
Signing up is free, and you can even get notifications when letters are on the way. Combined with the IRS tools, Informed Delivery can help give you some peace of mind and advance notice that your check is on its way.