Get Your Stimulus Check
Most Illinoisans are eligible for Economic Impact Payments from the federal government. This fact sheet gives you the information you need to know to get your stimulus payment as soon as possible.
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, don’t miss out. Filing your taxes online for 2018 or 2019 will put you in line to get your check faster. Paper tax returns are being processed slowly, so filing online is your best bet.
If you worked but earn too little to file taxes, you could still be eligible for more money by filing your taxes. Many people are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or other credits. Check online to see if you could receive the EITC at eitcoutreach.org/tax-credits/earned-income-tax-credit/eligibility/.
Even if you have no income, you are still eligible to receive a stimulus check. You can enter your payment information on the IRS non-filer site at irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here.
If you don’t have a bank account, waiting for a check by mail could take up to five months. Entering a direct deposit bank account number could help speed up the process when you file taxes or use the IRS non-filer site. See the next page for more information about how to get a safe, affordable Bank On account.
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, you are not required to file a tax return to receive your payment. You should receive your payment the way you normally receive your benefits. If you have children under 17 and did not enter them into the IRS non-filer site by May 5th, you’ll need to claim your $500 dependent payment when you file your 2020 tax return.
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. You may be able to get help filing taxes through Ladder Up. Visit GetMyPaymentIL.org/Tax-Help or call Ladder Up at 312.409.1555 for more information.
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, Citi, 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 GetMyPaymentIL.org/Banking-Help.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can still receive a payment, however, child support debt will be taken out of your payment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
IRS Non-Filer Site:
What You Need to Prepare
Some people can use the IRS non-filer site to sign up for their stimulus check.
Some people can use the IRS non-filer site to sign up for their stimulus check. For example, if you have no income and do not receive Social Security, SSI, Railroad Retirement, or veterans benefits, the non-filer site is a good choice for you. If you are very low income, do not need to file taxes, and are not eligible for any tax credits, you can also use the IRS non-filer site. To learn more about whether you should file taxes to get additional money or should use the non-filer website visit GetMyPaymentIL.org/Tax-Help.
For each dependent child you support who is under the age of 17:
*Only some people have IP PINs.
Find out if you are eligible for a stimulus payment.
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