Frequently Asked Questions.

Have you had any problems getting your payment or using the IRS website? Let us know so we can ask the IRS to make improvements. Use this 3-question webform to share your story.

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 Social Security Number, the other is not eligible for the Economic Impact Payment.

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.

How will I get my payment?

The IRS will use information from your 2019 or 2018 tax return to calculate your payment amount. Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks) will be deposited directly into the same bank account used for your tax return. The IRS will mail a paper check to tax filers who did not provide a bank account number when they filed taxes and who did not provide updated banking information before May 13th. Some people may receive a prepaid debit card from the government. Do not throw this away! Learn more about how to activate it at www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/economic-impact-payment-prepaid-card.

People receiving Social Security (retirement, survivors, and disability), veterans benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or Railroad Retirement benefits will receive the payment automatically and are not required to file a tax return to receive payment.

If you have not filed taxes or do not need to file taxes, you can use the Tax Help page to figure out what to do next. You may want to get a bank account first to get a direct deposit check directly to your account. Paper checks could take up to five months.

When will I get my payment?

The IRS started making payments the week of April 13th. The government is trying to get payments out as quickly as possible. People with bank account information already on file with the IRS will receive their payments fastest. But, paper checks may take up to five months.

If you have not filed taxes for 2019 yet, the deadline has been extended until July 15th. If you do not owe the IRS or the State of Illinois any taxes, you can file taxes after the July 15 filing deadline without a penalty. You have until October 15, 2020, to submit tax returns to get a stimulus payment by the end of 2020. 

Those who don't need to file taxes also have until October 15, 2020 to submit their information to the IRS using the non-filer site in order to get their stimulus payments by the end of 2020.

For both tax filers and non-tax filers, entering bank account information for direct deposit will allow you to get your payment much more quickly. Otherwise, you may have to wait up to five months for a paper check.

Use the IRS Get My Payment app to check the status of your payment. You will be asked to click okay to confirm that you are an authorized user. Information is updated every 24 hours, so you can check again the next day if information is not available.

How do I know if my payment has been sent?

Use the IRS Get My Payment app to check the status of your payment. You'll be asked to click okay to confirm that you are an authorized user. Some people have had to check daily to get updated information.

What if I don’t have any income?

You are still eligible for a payment. If you have not filed taxes in the last two years, you need to submit your information on the IRS non-filer site to receive your payment. This website will take you through the process of creating a basic $0 tax return.

Before you fill out the IRS Non-filer portal, please have these items ready:

  • Cell phone that can receive texts
  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Valid Social Security Number
  • Current mailing address
  • Email address
  • Whether someone can claim you as a dependent (yes or no)
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one. This IP PIN would have been sent in a letter from the IRS*
  • Adjusted Gross Income or Signature PIN Number for 2018
  • Driver’s license or State ID number, issue date and expiration date
  • Bank account/routing numbers, cash app account and routing numbers, or mailing address to receive check
  • Optional: You may be asked to confirm the amounts of past loans to verify your identity

For each dependent child you support who is under the age of 17:

  • Name
  • Social Security Number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Relationship to you or your spouse

*Only necessary in some cases.

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.

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.

Are college students eligible for payments?

College students who are not considered dependents are eligible. Generally, college students who are under 24, attend full-time, and receive significant financial support from their parents are considered dependents. These students are not eligible.

I am currently or was recently incarcerated. Am I eligible?

Individuals who are currently incarcerated are not eligible for the stimulus payments. 

Previous incarceration does not change eligibility. 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 did not need to file taxes you may still receive your payment by submitting your information on the IRS non-filer site. To receive your payment faster, file your taxes electronically and enter bank account information when you file.

If you didn't file taxes but should have, you will receive your payment once you file. If you are not sure if you need to file, find out here. You can get a safe, affordable bank account online through BankOn on our Banking Info page. Sharing bank direct deposit information on the IRS forms will help you get your payment faster.

To find information on how to get help filing taxes, visit Ladder Up’s website and sign up for their e-newsletter.

If you filed in 2018 but have moved and the IRS doesn’t have your bank information, file your 2019 taxes to update the information. Also be sure to change your address with the U.S. Postal Service. If you filed for 2019 but have moved, there is not currently an option to update your address.

If you don’t need to file for 2019, use the IRS non-filer site to register for your payment.

Information you will need to have ready when you use the Non-Filer website:

  • Full name
  • Current mailing address
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Valid Social Security number
  • Bank account number, routing number, and type of account (checking or savings), if you have one. If you do not have one you will receive a paper check in the mail.
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one. This IP PIN would have been sent in a letter from the IRS.
  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID, if you have one

For each dependent child you support who is under the age of 17:

  • Name
  • Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Relationship to you or your spouse

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 do I need to have ready before I use the IRS Non-filer website?

Before you fill out the IRS Non-filer portal, please have these items ready:

  • Cell phone that can receive texts
  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Valid Social Security Number
  • Current mailing address
  • Email address
  • Whether someone can claim you as a dependent (yes or no)
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one. This IP PIN would have been sent in a letter from the IRS*
  • Adjusted Gross Income or Signature PIN Number for 2018
  • Driver’s license or State ID number, issue date and expiration date
  • Bank account/routing numbers, cash app account and routing numbers, or mailing address to receive check
  • Optional: You may be asked to confirm the amounts of past loans to verify your identity

For each dependent child you support who is under the age of 17:

  • Name
  • Social Security Number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number
  • Relationship to you or your spouse

*Only necessary in some cases.

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

If the bank account that the IRS is depositing the stimulus payment into is now closed, the bank will reject the deposit. The IRS will then mail a paper check to the address it has on file for you.

If you have moved since you last filed a return with the IRS, you'll need to make sure the United States Postal Service (USPS) forwards your mail to the right address.: Change Your Address with USPS to make sure you receive your stimulus check at your current address.

Also, you can attempt to track your stimulus check using the USPS Informed Delivery tool.

What if my payment check is being mailed to the wrong address?

If you have moved since you last filed a return with the IRS, you'll need to make sure the United States Postal Service (USPS) has your current address. Change Your Address with USPS so they can forward your mail to the correct address.

Also, you can attempt to track your stimulus check using the USPS Informed Delivery tool

 

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.

What should I do if I think my stimulus payment is too low?

There are a few reasons why your stimulus payment could be lower than what you expected. Some are included below: 

  • If you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return or the IRS hasn’t finished reviewing your 2019 return, your payment will be based on your 2018 tax return. If you earned more money or had fewer dependents in 2018, your payment may be lower. 
  • In order to receive $500 per eligible dependent, the dependent must be under the age of 17 and meet other qualifications. 
  • Past-due child support can be taken out of the stimulus payment.

The IRS released more information here.

If you are eligible for more than what you received, remember that you may be able to claim missing amounts when you file your 2020 tax return.

 

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.

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