Stimulus check delivery status: Updated IRS schedule, when plus-up payments arrive
Millions more stimulus checks are going out this week -- is yours part of it? Even if you already got your money, plus-up payments are coming, maybe to you. This is what to know about the IRS payment schedules and delays.
The IRS and Treasury sent nearly 2 million more stimulus checks this week to four main groups of people, the agencies announced Wednesday. People receiving plus-up payments, US veterans, Social Security beneficiaries and people the iRS didn't previously have on file rounded out the list for new checks, but remember, there are still payments going out through the mail that could come at any time. See the chart below for a full update on the IRS stimulus payment schedule. We'll also explain more about:
What plus-up payments are and how the IRS will send them.
More about how veterans and SSDI/SSI recipients should expect their stimulus checks.
How to track your third stimulus check with the IRS and USPS. (Don't toss this IRS letter.)
Different ways you could get paid.
What could be hold up your stimulus payment.
How to report a problem and when you should file for a payment trace.
Stimulus checks may get all the attention, but you might also qualify for a monthly child tax credit (see our child credit payment FAQ), and money off your health insurance. In addition, your state may owe you money. And here's the latest on student loan debt forgiveness, and a fourth stimulus check. This story was recently updated.
Stimulus plus-up payments and the IRS schedule: What to know
The IRS and Treasury sent over $1.2 billion in plus-up payments this week, the agencies said Wednesday, adding supplementary stimulus check money to the amount you already got. For example, if the IRS used your 2019 taxes to calculate your third stimulus check and then finds it underpaid you after processing your 2020 taxes -- maybe you had a lower AGI this time or count a new dependent -- you're due an automatic pay bump to correct the error.
If you got your stimulus payment through direct deposit, that's how you'll get your plus-up money, too. If the IRS doesn't have your details on file, you may receive a paper check instead.
Plus-up payments will continue on a weekly basis as the IRS processes 2020 tax forms and reevaluates checks. The batch going out this week includes 700,000 plus-up payments totaling more than $1.2 billion.
Stimulus checks for veterans, SSDI and SSI recipients
After a month of waiting, stimulus checks started flowing to veterans receiving VA benefits. On Wednesday, the IRS and Treasury said they sent 320,000 payments to veterans who don't ordinarily file taxes (those that do may have received their stimulus check already). Some veterans on a forum on Reddit are reporting they received their checks. VA beneficiary payment information should have been in the IRS' Get My Payment tool this weekend, the IRS said, but some are reporting their status still isn't available. We reached out to the IRS for clarification.
Starting April 3, the IRS started making payments for SSDI and SSI recipients and retired railroad workers, many of whom automatically qualify for the third check. The majority of payments made electronically -- either through direct deposit or to existing Direct Express cards (PDF) -- by April 7, according to the IRS.
You'll most likely get the electronic payment transfer if this is how you normally receive benefits, and if you didn't file taxes in 2019 or 2020. But some in this subset of nonfilers could receive an automatic payment sooner if they got a previous check by using the IRS' Non-Filers tool, which is now closed. The SSA says this group will not receive an EIP debit card. Here's our complete guide to stimulus checks for people receiving Social Security benefits.
How the IRS will send your stimulus money now
If you're getting your new stimulus check delivered now (and not a plus-up), expect to receive it in the mail (how to track it) as a paper check or EIP debit card. However, if you're an SSI or SSDI recipient who has a Direct Express benefits card, you should get an electronic transfer. Otherwise, look for a check in the mail, but not an EIP card, according to the SSA. (More details below.)
Note that it could take days between the date the IRS or Treasury processes your stimulus money and when you receive it, especially if your check is arriving through the mail. If you moved recently, you need to tell the IRS and USPS.
No check yet? Track your payment online with free tools
The IRS updates its Get My Payment tracker tool for stimulus checks daily. This online app shows the status of your payment, including when a check is scheduled for delivery. You can also use a free tool from the USPS to track your mailed stimulus payment.
The IRS portal also flags if there's a problem with your payment that you may need to address, but it doesn't tell you the amount you'll receive. You'll see your payment status in the tracker if you receive SSI and SSDI benefits. VA beneficiaries who are veterans and don't file taxes can check the status of their payments the weekend of April 10 and 11.
If some or all of your stimulus check is delayed, this could be why
There was a calculation error and you need to claim an adjustment or wait for a plus-up payment.
You receive SSDI or SSI benefits or veterans benefits and are waiting for your check to arrive.
Your check is stuck in the mail. (Here's how to track it.)
You may not receive money for all of your dependents, including a new baby or older adult.
The IRS based your third stimulus check on your 2019 taxes and you're owed money for your 2020 AGI or dependents.
You may be a nonfiler who needs to file a 2020 tax return to claim dependents.
Your stimulus check was deposited into a closed or temporary bank account.
You moved and the IRS doesn't have your correct mailing address to send a check.
Your payment may be garnished by private debt collectors.
The IRS sent a letter confirming it sent your stimulus payment, but the money never arrived.
To report a payment problem, here's what to do
The IRS doesn't want you to call if you have any issue with the delivery or amount of your stimulus check. So what to do instead? Our guide walks you through how to report stimulus check problems, including checks that never arrive (try filing a payment trace), direct deposit payments that go to the wrong account and other issues.
Why your 2020 tax return is so important this time
Taxes are now due May 17. So how will the IRS figure out how much it owes you? It will calculate your total (you can also do that here) based on the most recent tax filing it's processed at the time it's ready to tabulate the amount of your stimulus check.
If you filed your 2020 taxes early and you know your tax return was already processed, your total will likely be based on your 2020 adjusted gross income, not on your 2019 AGI. That presents complications if the difference between the two years disqualifies you from getting a third stimulus check.
On the flip side, if the IRS uses your 2019 taxes and you're owed more money based on your 2020 AGI and dependents, you'll need to claim the difference at a later date. Note that if you filed your 2020 taxes after you got your stimulus payment, this IRS is now sending the catch-up payments now. (Learn more about some of the stimulus check exceptions and catches here.)
Did you know? Stimulus money could still arrive through December
Although the IRS and Treasury are sending stimulus checks now, the agencies have until Dec. 31 to complete distributing the third payments. That's good news in the sense they aren't facing a compressed deadline to send out all the checks, as they did for the second stimulus check in December, which only gave them a 17-day window to get the payments out.
On the other hand, the nearly nine-month delivery window also means some people may find themselves waiting for their payment, for a variety of reasons. We'll have to wait and see how the IRS deals with any fringe issues that arise, such as the need to claim missing money.