Where’s my stimulus check? Still waiting? Here are 5 steps you can take.

August 24, 2020

A diverse group of young adults with their hands in the air, confused

Over 9 million people in the U.S. were eligible for the first stimulus check from the federal government, but needed to take action to receive one. 

If you haven’t received your stimulus check yet, you might still be eligible. 

Get My Payment IL is a coalition of five nonprofit organizations working to help make sure those hit hardest by the pandemic receive their stimulus checks. The Get My Payment IL team has a number of tools on its website that can help you get your stimulus check.

STEP 1:

Check if you are eligible

Use our interactive eligibility checker on the bottom of the Get My Payment IL homepage to see if you are eligible for a stimulus check. Answering a few questions will help you learn what to do next.  We will not ask you to share any sensitive or personal information and we will not record or share your answers.

Here’s what you need to be eligible for a stimulus check: 

  • 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 stimulus check 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 your 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), or survivors benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), veterans benefits, or Railroad Retirement benefits.

Good news! Most adults in the US are eligible to receive a stimulus check. However, if someone on your tax return doesn’t have a valid Social Security Number, or if you are currently incarcerated, you are not eligible. Some families where one or more members do not have a valid Social Security Number may be eligible for the Chicago Resiliency Fund administered by The Resurrection Project. Check to see if they have announced another round of funding here.

STEP 2:

Decide whether you should file taxes to get additional money or if you can use the nonfiler site to get your stimulus check.

Some people are not required to file taxes because they earn less than $12,200 a year for a single filer or $24,400 for a married couple filing jointly. However, by filing taxes you could receive your stimulus check as well as additional money from a tax credit like the Earned Income Tax Credit. Learn more about whether you are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit here

The bottom line

If you are not required to file taxes, you do not have to file a return to get the stimulus check. Instead, you can enter your payment information on the IRS non-filer portal to get the amount. 

However, you should still file your 2019 taxes for the following reasons:

  • You had income tax withheld from your pay, pension, social security, or other income.
  • You qualify for the earned income credit. Visit the IRS Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) webpage for more information and use this EITC Eligibility Checker.
  • You qualify for the additional child tax credit.
  • You made estimated tax payments for the year or had any of your overpayment for last year’s estimated tax applied to this year’s taxes (for example self-employed business owners).
  • You qualify for the refundable credit for prior year minimum tax. See Form 8801, Credit for Prior Year Minimum Tax — Individuals, Estates, and Trusts.
  • You qualify for a refundable American Opportunity Credit.
  • You receive a 1099-B and the gross proceeds plus other income exceeds the filing limits in Chart A.
  • You receive Form 1099-S, Proceeds From Real Estate Transactions.
  • You qualify for the federal tax on fuels.
  • You are required to file a state return.
  • You qualify for the Premium Tax Credit.

There is good news! You have until October 15, 2020, to submit tax returns to get a stimulus check by the end of 2020.

If you don’t need to file a tax return, here’s a list of what you’ll need to prepare to request your stimulus check through the IRS non-filer portal.

STEP 3:

Check to see if your stimulus check is on its way

If you have already filed taxes and used direct deposit for your tax return, you are done!

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.

Entering a direct deposit bank account number could help speed up the process. If you have a bank account or prepaid debit card, you can enter your direct deposit information on the IRS website when you file taxes or submit your information on the IRS non-filer portal. If you filed taxes earlier this year or last year, you can no longer add bank information to receive direct deposit after May 13th.

Local banks are offering lower cost, safe accounts for people who need a bank account through Bank On. Learn how to get a Bank On account online or what to do if you can’t get one.

Use the IRS Get My Payment app to check the status of your stimulus check (called the Economic Impact Payment). You’ll be asked to click okay to confirm that you are an authorized user. Some people have had to check the website daily to get updated information.

STEP 4:

Still having trouble? Get My Payment can help! Ask us! 

You might be asking “when will I get my stimulus check?” or “how do I get my stimulus check?” You can use our “Commonly Asked Questions” section to check your eligibility or get answers to common questions

If you live in Illinois contact our team for support:

By email: help@GetMyPaymentIL.org

By phone: 888-553-9777

STEP 5:

Let us know what you’ve had trouble with

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.

One last chance!

Even if you missed the extended July 15th deadline for filing taxes, you may have until October 15th to claim your stimulus check before the end of 2020. You may also claim the stimulus check on your 2020 taxes if you file taxes in 2021.

If none of the above apply to you, you may need to take extra steps to receive your check, find out your eligibility or use the IRS Get My Payment App to find your payment status.

Find more information and flyers in various languages, including English, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Arabic, and Tagalog at www.GetMyPaymentIL.org.

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