Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to receive the Economic Impact Payment?

U.S. citizens or resident aliens who:

  • Have a valid Social Security Number,
  • Cannot be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and
  • Have an adjusted gross income under:
    • $75,000 for individuals
    • $112,500 for individuals who file taxes as head of household
    • $150,000 for married couples filing joint tax returns.

Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their adjusted gross income is between:

  • $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
  • $112,500 and $136,500 for individuals who filed as head of household
  • $150,000 and $198,000 for married couples who filed jointly

The amount of the reduced payment will be based upon the taxpayer’s specific adjusted gross income.

Those who do not make enough money to file a tax return are also eligible. This includes people receiving Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivors benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), veterans benefits, or Railroad Retirement benefits.

Unfortunately, if one spouse does not have a valid Social Security Number, the other is not eligible for a stimulus check, unless one of you is in the US Armed Forces.

What is adjusted gross income?

Adjusted gross income is a number found on your tax return (Line 8b of the 1040 tax form). It is the money you receive (wages, child support, interest, etc.) minus some specific costs, like student loan interest or alimony.

Someone on my tax return doesn’t have a Social Security Number.

Unfortunately, individuals who are undocumented or do not have a Social Security Number are not eligible. If anyone on your tax return does not have a Social Security number or has an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), then you are not eligible for an Economic Impact Payment even if you, your spouse, or anyone else on the return have valid Social Security Numbers.

For more resources, see the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights COVID-19 resources page.

I’m using the Get My Payment app, but I’m getting a “Payment Status Not Available” message. What does that message mean?

According to the IRS, there are a few reasons you might see this message:

You are required to file a tax return, but:

    • The IRS hasn’t finished processing your 2019 return
    • The application doesn't yet have your data; the IRS is working on adding more data to allow more people to use it
  • You don't usually file a return, and you used the IRS non-filer site but the IRS hasn’t processed your entry yet
  • You’re not eligible for a payment

Remember, the IRS is not processing paper tax returns right now. So, if you filed your tax return recently by mail, it will take the IRS longer than usual to process the return.

I’m using the Get My Payment app, but I’m getting a “Please Try Again Later” message. What can I do?

According to the IRS, the reason you are locked out for 24 hours could be:

  • Information you entered does not match IRS records. For security reasons, the IRS limits each user to three failed attempts in a 24-hour period.
  • You have already accessed the system five times within 24 hours. The IRS allows each user 5 logins per day to make sure their system is not overwhelmed with too many requests.

You will be able to access the application after 24 hours have passed. Do not contact the IRS for assistance with a lockout. The lockout will only release after 24 hours.

I’m using the IRS non-filer site but I get an error message about a missing IP PIN. What should I do?

If you received an IP PIN, you will need to enter it to submit your information on the IRS non-filer site. Try to find the letter the IRS mailed to you that contains your 6-digit Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN). If you can’t find that letter, try to retrieve your IP PIN online on the IRS website. Unfortunately, the IRS is not taking calls about this at this time.

Am I eligible to receive a stimulus check?

The vast majority of Illinoisans are eligible to receive a stimulus check. To receive the full payment, you must make below $75,000 for single tax filers, $112,500 for head of household filers, and $150,000 for married filing jointly filers. If you are the dependent of someone else, you are not eligible.

Unfortunately, if anyone on the tax return does not have a valid Social Security Number, no one in the family is eligible. Visit ICIRR’s COVID resource page for additional help: ICIRR.org/immigrant-community-resources.

How much money will I get?

If you qualify for the stimulus payment, you’ll get up to $1,200 for yourself ($2,400 for a married couple). You’ll get an additional $500 for every eligible dependent under the age of 17.

When will I get my payment?

The government is getting payments out as quickly as possible.

People with bank account information already on file with the IRS will receive their payments fastest. Mailed paper checks could take up to five months to arrive.

Some people will receive a prepaid debit card from the government. Do not throw this away! Learn more about how to activate it at consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/economic-impact-payment-prepaid-card.

You can also check the status of your payment at IRS.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. The site will ask you to click “okay” to confirm you are an authorized user. You may need to check every 24 hours.

How will I get my payment?

The IRS will use information from your 2019 or 2018 tax return to calculate your payment amount. Payments will be deposited directly into the same bank account used for your tax return. The IRS will mail a paper check or prepaid debit card to tax filers who did not provide a bank account number when they filed taxes.

What if my payment is sent to the wrong bank account?

If the account is closed, the bank will reject the payment. The IRS will mail a paper check to the most recent address they have on file.

What if I don’t have any income?

You are still eligible for a payment. But, if you haven’t filed taxes in the last two years, you need to register on the IRS non-filer site at IRS.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here.

What if I pay child support? Will I receive a payment?

You can still receive a payment, however, child support debt will be taken out of your payment.

Will this impact my public benefits, like food stamps or TANF?

No. As with any tax refund, these payments will not count against your eligibility for receiving public benefits. The payment also will not affect your benefit amounts.

What if I was incarcerated or am incarcerated now?

Individuals who are currently incarcerated are not eligible for the stimulus checks. But, you can still receive a payment if you were previously incarcerated. If you filed taxes in 2018 or 2019, have a Social Security Number, and your income is below the guidelines, you will receive a payment.

Are college students eligible?

If you attend college full-time, are under 24, and receive extensive support from your parents you will most likely be considered a dependent. Those students will not receive a check. Full-time students who provide more than half of their own financial support are eligible. If you became independent in 2020, you can claim your payment when you file your 2020 tax return.

What if my stimulus payment is too low?

Your payment may be too low if your most recent tax return doesn’t reflect your current situation. Also, dependents must be under 17 and meet other qualifications to be eligible for the $500 payment. If you think your payment is too low, you can claim the remainder on your 2020 taxes. More information is available at IRS.gov/newsroom/why-the-economic-impact-payment-amount-could-be-different-than-anticipated.

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