Need Your First Stimulus Check?
Most Illinoisans are eligible for stimulus checks under the CARES Act passed in Spring 2020. However, those who are not required to file taxes may have needed to take action to receive their checks. If you missed the deadlines for the first round of stimulus checks you can still claim your check. More information about stimulus checks is below.
Update! If you have not received your first stimulus check, file a 2020 tax return to receive your stimulus check. You will claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 tax return.
For families where one spouse does not have a Social Security Number, the other spouse with the SSN is now eligible for a stimulus check.
Check our Tax Help page for more resources on filing taxes.
To learn more about the second stimulus check, see our Round 2 page.
Here’s what you need to do:
If you’ve already filed your taxes and used direct deposit for your tax return, you’re done!
You should have received your payment in your bank account. If you did your taxes but didn’t include bank information, you should receive a paper check or prepaid card by mail. You can track your payment at IRS.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. The site will ask you to click “okay” to confirm you are an authorized user.
If you haven’t filed taxes, even if you have no income, don’t miss out. If you need to file taxes because of how much money you made or for other reasons, file your taxes so that the IRS can figure out if you’re eligible for a stimulus check. Check our Tax Help page for more resources on filing taxes.
Not sure if you need to file? Visit the Tax Help page.
If you don’t have income or had very low income and you did not submit your stimulus payment information to the IRS using the IRS non-filers tool before November 21, 2020, you can still receive your stimulus check by filing a 2020 tax return and claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit. If your income was very low, remember that you might be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. Check our Tax Help page for more information on the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Getting a bank account before you file taxes could help speed up your payment. Visit our Banking Help page to learn more about Bank On's safe, online options.
If you don’t have a bank account, waiting for a check by mail could take many weeks. Entering a direct deposit bank account number could help speed up the process when you file taxes.
Local banks are offering lower cost, safe accounts for people who need a bank account through Bank On. You can apply online. Learn how to get a Bank On account or what to do if you can’t get an account here.
If you’ve moved since the last time you filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 and don’t have a bank account on file with the IRS, update your address with the U.S. Postal Service. Go to the post office to fill out a change of address form. The form is also online at USA.gov/post-office.
If you receive Social Security, veterans’ benefits, Supplemental Security Income or Railroad Retirement benefits, but you haven't yet received your stimulus check and/or the $500 stimulus check for your dependents under the age of 17, file a 2020 tax return to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit.
Check our Tax Help page for more resources on filing taxes.
Need help filing your taxes?
If you earn less than $72,000 a year, you are eligible to use online software to file your taxes for free through the IRS Free File program: IRS.gov/freefile.
You could get money back, even if you don’t need to file a tax return. Some people who do not need to file a return can file to get additional money through the Earned Income Tax Credit or other credits. Check our Tax Help page for more resources on filing taxes.
Get your payment faster with a bank account.
A bank or credit union account will allow you to receive payments such as benefits payments, other important funds like the stimulus checks or even your paycheck all more safely and quickly in the comfort of your own home.
You can get a safe, affordable bank account through Bank On Chicago, part of a national initiative. Bank On accounts can be opened in person at Bank of America, Chase, CIBC, Citi, Great Lakes, Province, Self-Help Federal Credit Union, U.S. Bank, or Wells Fargo locations.
You’ll need to bring:
- A state ID or driver’s license (or Matricula Card for some accounts)
- Your Social Security Number (or ITIN for some accounts)
- At some locations: a prepaid debit card or credit card to make or receive payments.
Some banks require a prepaid debit card or credit card to make the first deposit. Other banks allow the account to be started with just the stimulus payment.
If you do not have a state ID, passport, or Matricula card, please contact Ladder Up at debitcard@ goladderup.org or call 888.553.9777 to discuss other options.
Learn more at our Banking Help page.
Beware of coronavirus and tax scams.
The IRS, Social Service Administration, or U.S. Treasury will not call or email offering grants or Economic Impact Payments in exchange for personal information, an advance fee, or gift cards. The IRS will never threaten to bring in law enforcement without an appeal. Don’t open surprise emails promising special information about the stimulus check or Economic Impact Payments. Learn more about common scams at IRS.gov/newsroom/tax-scams-consumer-alerts.
If you are expecting your stimulus check to come in the mail and not to your bank account, be aware that the check may come as a debit card in the mail. The debit card, called the Economic Impact Card, will be sent in a white envelope that prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal. It has the Visa name on the front of the Card and the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A., on the back of the card.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find out if you are eligible for a stimulus payment.
Answer a few questions below to learn what to do next. You do not need to share any sensitive, personal information. We will not record your answers.