Still waiting on your stimulus payment? Here’s why

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Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

The federal government started sending one-time economic impact payments to some taxpayers on April 15, but many have still not received their money. The government’s CARES Act offers up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and up to $500 for each qualifying child.

First thing’s first: are you eligible?

Check your eligibility directly with the IRS here.

To receive a payment, you must have:

  • An adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 for individuals and less than $150,000 for married couples filing jointly
  • Not been claimed as a dependent on anyone else’s taxes
  • Tax returns on file for either 2019 or 2018

If you’re eligible and still haven’t received your money, this may be why:

You don’t have direct deposit set up. While many people with accurate bank account numbers on file with the IRS have begun to receive payments, physical checks aren’t due to begin mailing out until the beginning of May. And at about five million checks per week, it could take up to 20 weeks for all checks to get sent out.

The direct deposit account listed on your most recent tax return is now closed. If you haven’t filed for 2019 with an updated account number, your stimulus payment most likely went to your old account. If that happens, the bank will reject the payment and the IRS will instead mail a paper check to the mailing address listed on your most recent return, which may take several months.  

You’re not a U.S. citizen. Even if you file taxes with an ITIN number, you are not eligible for the economic stimulus payment. If you’re a California resident and undocumented, the Governor’s office has produced this guide for help with an assortment of resources. 

You are being claimed as a dependent. If you’re 18 or older you’ll need to file your own taxes independently. If you’re still being claimed on your parents return over 18, as is the case with many college students, not only will you not receive a payment, your parents won’t get the child credit either. 

You have collections on other accounts. If you have outstanding credit card debt, or used a tax preparation professional and received an advance on your 2019 return, your money may be sent to them instead. The government has protected the stimulus money from medical debt, federal student loans, and any back taxes you may owe. 

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You owe child support. Child support is the only government-related wage garnishment the stimulus payment isn’t shielded from. If you owe child support, there’s a good chance you won’t see part, or all, of your payment. 

You are married to an immigrant. The CARES Act will send automatic payments to anyone who has a Social Security number, but it blocks U.S. citizens if they file a joint tax return with a spouse who does not have a Social Security number.

Your income must be below $75,000 if you’re single, or $150,000 if married. Although there’s a maximum income cap, there’s no minimum. If you don’t make enough to file taxes, there’s an option on the IRS form above for non-filers to make sure you get your money too.  

You and your spouse listed separate accounts on your 2019 taxes for your return. The IRS is only making a single deposit, so one account will receive the entire payment.  

You recently filed a paper tax return. Due to the volume of work between the stimulus payments and tax season, as well as reduced staffing because of the pandemic, the IRS isn’t currently processing the paper returns they receive. 

You receive Social Security. If you are not claiming any dependents, your money is on the way. If you want to claim the $500-per-child stimulus bonus, you’ll need to use the IRS non-filers tool before Wednesday, April 22.

If you haven’t gotten your money and none of the above apply to you, you can check out the IRS frequently asked questions page here




  • Charles D land

    We draw S S only, we have direct deposit, we have not gotten a refund or had to pay the last 6 years,
    We file every year but still have not received a Stimulus Check. When can we expect the check.

    • No specific deadlines have been set, but stimulus benefits are expected to make their way to Social Security recipients by Early May at the latest. You may also be able to get a more exact date by visiting the page the IRS has set up for tracking individual payments.

  • Can’t get an answer about will I get a check if my taxes are under review and haven’t been processed for 2019

    • Yes, you should still receive a check. Stimulus payments are being protected from most government debt, including back taxes if you owe them. If you haven’t already given it a try, check the IRS payment tracking page here. It should let you know if you’re eligible and if so, if there’s any information they need to get your payment to you as quickly as possible.

  • Kimberly m Foret Gaubert

    I am Kimberly Foret Gaubert. 54. Trying. To get disability of course with the virus I cannot I have a deterioration I have no income at all I can’t get food stamps no one would answer the phone and I did not get my stimulus check I haven’t filed in years I was just wondering why I didn’t get mine I have a bank account I really need it to pay my rent so please please can I get my stimulus check I really need it I I’m not married I don’t have a boyfriend I have no one to help me

    • Hi Kimberly.
      From the information you provided it sounds like the IRS may not have your direct deposit information. Their Non-Filers Enter Payment Info Here page should allow you to submit your information to get your money to you as soon as possible.

    • timothy justice

      You have to fill out the none filers form for people that haven’t filed taxes and need to update there direct deposit info with the IRS as for the foodstamps just keep trying to get through to welfare you can apply online and get a phone interview.

  • How about Medicaid card holders. Seniors.

    • With a few exceptions, everyone who is over 18, a citizen, not able to be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s 2019 tax returns, and who makes less that $75,000 is eligible. If you’re receiving benefits such as Social Security and receive a SSA-1099 tax form, there’s nothing you need to do. Payments should be distributed in whatever way your monthly benefits are by early May. If you don’t normally file taxes, you can go to their Non-Filers Enter Payment Info Here page to make sure they have it on file and can get you your money quickly.

  • Hello I draw a disability check each month and I have direct deposit When I check Get my payment on the IRS page it keeps telling me there’s no information on me being eligible to receive any money It also said in the questions that if you get disability not to use the non filer so am I ok or do I need to do the non filer to get the direct deposit Thanks

    • Unless you have dependents you need to claim, you don’t need to do anything. Recipients of SSI and SSDI should receive their stimulus payment automatically to wherever they get their normal benefits, in your case direct deposit, by early May.

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