You may be eligible for $3,000 or $3,600 per child to help with the cost of raising kids! Learn more about the Child Tax Credit here.

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Have questions about your stimulus check?
We’re here to help.
Give us a call at 888.553.9777 (available in English and Spanish) or email help@getmypaymentil.org.

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.

For married couples in which one spouse does not have a valid Social Security Number, the spouse with a valid Social Security Number is eligible for a stimulus check based on the bill signed into law on December 27, 2020. This is a change from the original language of the bill passed in the spring of 2020. The eligible spouse should be able to claim the first stimulus check on their 2020 taxes.

If you have a dependent child under the age of 17 who does not have a valid Social Security Number, then that child will not qualify you for the $500 dependent payment.

What is adjusted gross income?

Adjusted gross income is a number found on your tax return (Line 8b of the 1040 tax form for 2019). 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.

For married couples in which one spouse does not have a valid Social Security Number, the spouse with a valid Social Security Number is eligible for a stimulus check based on the bill signed into law on December 27, 2020. This is a change from the original language of the bill passed in the spring of 2020. The eligible spouse should be able to claim the first stimulus check on their 2020 taxes.

If you have a dependent child under the age of 17 who does not have a valid Social Security Number, then that child will not qualify you for the $500 dependent payment.

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

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?

Those who don't have any income had until November 21, 2020, to submit their information to the IRS using the non-filers tool in order to get their stimulus payments by the end of 2020.

If you didn’t submit your payment information to the IRS by November 21, 2020, file your 2020 tax return to receive your stimulus check by claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit.

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?

Current or previous incarceration does not affect your eligibility.

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 by claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit.

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 by claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit. More information is available at IRS.gov/newsroom/why-the-economic-impact-payment-amount-could-be-different-than-anticipated.

Find out if you are eligible for a stimulus payment.

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