Where is My Stimulus Check?
Not everyone has received their stimulus check from the CARES Act. Here's what may have happened to yours.
Updated on May 01 2020
These difficult times have been a financial burden on the vast majority of us. Americans are facing physical isolation and financial hardships due to COVID-19. This is why our government passed the CARES Act, designed to support individuals and businesses during this unprecedented time. Part of this act includes a check for $1,200 to qualifying individuals.
If you’re still waiting for your payment from the COVID-19 Stimulus Plan, you aren’t alone. Millions of qualifying Americans are still awaiting their checks. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t receive one. First, be sure that you qualify for a stimulus check. To qualify, you must have a Social Security number. Additionally, your adjusted gross income for your 2018 or 2019 tax return must be below $75,000 for individuals to receive the full amount, this number is $150,000 for married couples. If you earned more than $99,000 as an individual, or $198,000 as a couple, then you will not receive any form of payment. You would also be ineligible if someone had claimed you as a dependent. If you qualify and still have not received your stimulus check, here are some possible reasons why:
The government doesn’t have your current banking info
The IRS uses your 2019 or 2018 tax return to determine your eligibility for a stimulus check. This information is also used to deposit your payment into your account. However, there are several factors and circumstances with your tax returns that could prevent you from receiving your stimulus check.
Many Americans provide the IRS with their direct deposit information in order to receive a tax return. But, if you haven’t received a tax return in recent years, the IRS may not have your information on file. If this is the case, you’ll be receiving a physical paper check by mail. These checks will take longer to get to you than an instant direct deposit, so this may be why you have yet to receive yours. The same is true if your banking information has changed since last receiving a tax return. Payments sent from the IRS to inactive accounts will not go through, and you’ll receive your payment in the mail. So, incorrect or missing banking information will not prevent you from receiving your stimulus check, but it will take a bit longer to get to you.
You receive Social Security
Receiving Social Security benefits doesn’t mean that you’re excluded from these stimulus payments. However, this does mean that you’ll receive your payment later than others. The first round of stimulus checks was sent out to those who filed 2019 taxes with accurate direct deposit information. So, if you qualify for a stimulus check but receive Social Security, your payment is coming. If the IRS has accurate direct deposit information for you, then your stimulus check should arrive in the coming weeks. If not, your check will be mailed physically and may take a bit longer.
You haven’t filed taxes for 2018 or 2019
Because the IRS uses tax returns to determine eligibility for these payments, you will need to have filed your taxes within either of the past two filing seasons. If you haven’t, you will likely not be able to receive a payment. But. because the tax deadline for 2020 has been extended, you can still file your 2019 taxes if you have yet to do so. If you’ve only recently filed your 2019 taxes, this is another reason you may still be awaiting your stimulus check. The IRS may still be processing your tax return, in which case your stimulus check will likely be mailed to you physically at a later date.
Some people are not required to file tax returns. If you are not required to file a tax return, you will need to complete the IRS’s Non-Filer Registration. With this, you will be eligible for a stimulus check that will be sent by mail. While this is an additional step you must take, receiving the help you need will be worthwhile.
Many Americans continue to suffer financially as our nation deals with the coronavirus outbreak collectively. These stimulus checks will hopefully lighten some of the burden the majority of us are feeling. It’s natural to feel anxious right now, especially if you’re planning for retirement or another big life change. But, it’s important that we try not to panic and rely on our financial plans. If you’re particularly worried, speak with a financial advisor to see how they can help. Many are now offering their services remotely, so you can get advice without leaving your home.
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