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Frequently Asked Questions About Stimulus Payments

Worried you haven’t seen your 2nd stimulus check payment yet? VERIFY gets the facts

What is a government stimulus payment?

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the federal government is providing stimulus payments to eligible recipients.

How will I know if I qualify?

Please note: Eligibility criteria outlined in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 differs from prior rounds of stimulus payments. Wells Fargo does not have the ability to determine whether you qualify. Your eligibility is determined by the government. To learn more about eligibility and payment amounts, visit

How will I receive my payment?

If youâre eligible to receive a payment, you will receive the funds in one of these ways:

  • By prepaid card. Instead of receiving a paper check, some customers will receive a prepaid card in the mail. Customers are able to use this card like a debit card or transfer funds from their Economic Impact Payment card to their bank account from the website, from the Money Network Mobile App, or by calling 1-800-240-8100.

Once the IRS begins to distribute payments, the IRS’s Get MY Payment tool will be updated to reflect direct deposit or mailed payment date. The IRS is expected to update the payment status regularly.

When will I receive my payment?

The U.S. Treasury has indicated that payments will be distributed in multiple phases and could take several weeks to distribute, so not everyone will receive payments at the same time.

You can check on the status of your stimulus payment using the IRSâs Get My Payment tool.

What Should I Do If Not Everyone In My Household Received Their Economic Income Payments

Date: November 18, 2021

The Internal Revenue Service has paid EIPs to Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income recipients.

If you did not receive all the EIP amount you think you and your family are eligible for that was provided in the American Rescue Plan, you should file a 2021 Federal tax return in 2022 to claim the amount you are owed.

You Received A Check Addressed To A Deceased Relative

Believe it or not, people who are no longer living have been receiving stimulus money.

Andrew Hudson, a 25-year-old attorney in Tampa, says his grandmother, Nancy Coulterwho has been deceased for nearly a yearhad a check written out to her from the IRS. It was sent to his mothers house, who was listed on his grandmothers estate.

Hudson’s grandmother, who passed away nearly a year ago, was sent a stimulus check in the mail.

Its a situation shared by a surprising amount of Americans. Since the IRS is sending stimulus money out based on 2018 or 2019 tax returns for those who havent filed yet this year, its possible those people have died since the taxes were filed. Plus, the IRS has been under immense pressure to get the stimulus money out to some 175 million people as quickly as it can. All of that, combined with the fact that the Social Security Administrations Death Master File is not updated in real time, means people who are no longer living are getting stimulus money anyway.

This doesnt mean its up for grabs by you or your family, though. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated that any funds sent to those who shouldnt receive stimulus money, including deceased people, should be sent back to the IRS immediately.

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When Should You Request An Irs Payment Trace

Since the third stimulus checks are still being sent, you could hold out a little longer before taking action. If you didn’t get your first or second check at all, though, it’s time to do something. This chart shows when you can and should request an IRS payment trace, which is designed to hunt down a stimulus check the agency says it sent. More below on exactly how a payment trace works, how to get started and when to use it.

What Will The Status Report Look Like

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For third-round stimulus checks, the “Get My Payment” tool will display one of the following:

1. Payment Status. If you get this message, a payment has been issued. The status page will show a payment date, payment method , and account information if paid by direct deposit. Note that “mail” means either a paper check or a debit card. If you don’t recognize the bank account number displayed in the tool, it doesn’t necessarily mean your deposit was made to the wrong account or that there’s a fraud. If you don’t recognize the account number, it may be an issue related to how information is displayed in the tool tied to temporary accounts used for refund loans/banking products.

2. Need More Information. This message is displayed if your 2020 return was processed but the IRS doesn’t have bank account information for you and your payment has not been issued yet. It could also mean your payment was returned to the IRS by the Post Office as undeliverable. As mentioned above, if your payment is returned, you’ll have the opportunity to provide the IRS your bank account or debit card information so they can issue a direct deposit payment . If you don’t provide any account information, the IRS can’t reissue your payment until they receive an updated address.

The portal is updated no more than once daily, typically overnight. As a result, there’s no reason to check the portal more than once per day.

Also Check: How To Track Your Third Stimulus Check

Is There Going To Be A Fourth Stimulus Check In 2022

Certain senators have been calling for a regular stimulus check to be sent out to help citizens, and this looks to be coming to fruition. Those living in the US have seen the economic hardships cushioned as a result of these payments, but the issue is that the responsibility for widespread financial aid is now in the hands of state governments, rather than federal government.

On the other hand, there are voices arguing that the stimulus checks – among other measures taken – have had a negative effect on the overall economy, as those against the idea have pointed to the rise in inflation as a reason for not sending out a fourth stimulus check.

Eligibility Of Stimulus Check

In addition to the income limits, individuals must also meet specific citizenship and identification requirements. If you havent received prior payments, keep in mind that qualifications for each payment vary slightly.

For example, the latest round of EIPs allows households to claim payments for their qualifying dependents with a Social Security number , even if the head of the household or married couple doesnt have an SSN.

Also Check: How Do I Change My Direct Deposit For Stimulus Check

Who Is Eligible For A Stimulus Check

The third stimulus check legislation is available to single adults with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less at $1,400. Married couples who filed jointly with AGI under $150,000 will receive a one-time payment of $2,800. However, your income is not the only factor that determines qualification for any of the stimulus checks.

Any adult with a social security number is also eligible for any stimulus check payment but the rules here differ. Under the first stimulus check, spouses that are filing jointly must have a valid social security number each. But the second stimulus checks provide that if one spouse has an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number , the spouse with the security number will get the payment.

However, the rules for the third stimulus checks are far less strict. In a household, if both spouses don’t have an SSN, then any dependent or child qualifies for the stimulus. For instance, if both spouses have an ITIN, they don’t qualify but any member in the home will qualify.

For married military couples both spouses receive the checks even if one of them does not have an SSN. The first, second, and third stimulus checks also allow incarcerated people to eligibly receive stimulus checks. Deceased people are also eligible and any surviving spouse or relative can claim their checks.

How Are Americans Using Stimulus Checks

Track The Status Of Your Stimulus Check With The ‘Get My Payment Tool’ From The IRS

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that households are spending a smaller percentage of their stimulus checks and saving more. The that households set aside just under 25% of their third-round payments for consumption. This share fell from just over 29% of first-round payments reported in June 2020 and almost 26% of second-round payments reported in January 2021.

The table below is based on all three SCE surveys and breaks down the average percentage of stimulus payments spent, saved and used to pay off debt:

New York Fed SCE Breakdown of Stimulus Check Spending
Payment Round
37.4% 33.7%

The New York Fed also says that households expect to spend an average 13% of the third stimulus check on essential items and an average 8% on non-essential items.

For a comparison, preliminary data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau from shows that the majority of stimulus recipients are almost three times more likely to use checks to pay down debt than add to their savings.

An earlier showed that the majority of recipients who got the first stimulus check spent their payment on household expenses. Adults with incomes between $75,000 and $99,999 told the Census that they would most likely pay off debt or add to their savings. While adults making less than $25,000 said they would use their stimulus to pay for expenses.

For those households that spent their first stimulus checks, the study says:

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What If I Dont Have A Bank Account

If you dont have a bank account, a paper check will be sent to the address you listed on your tax return.

Direct deposit is the quickest and safest way to get payments. Alternatives to receiving a paper check are opening a bank account or using a prepaid debit card. Once you get a card, you may need to contact the company directly to find the account and routing numbers needed for direct deposit. To find a bank, you can view this list of accounts offered by financial institutions that meet national standards. You can also use payment apps like CashApp, Venmo, or PayPal.

Do not provide the bank account information for someone else. Different names on the tax return and bank account will trigger a reject of the deposit, causing the IRS to send you a paper check which will delay the delivery of your payment.

Fourth Stimulus Check Update: New Payments Going Out Heres Who Is Eligible

The federal stimulus checks are virtually guaranteed to be done and over with going forward, especially as the government seems eager to start moving past the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, a lucky few in some states could still see themselves getting a little extra cash this year thanks to stimulus funds at a local level.

While California is considering another round of Golden State Stimulus checks as it approves its annual budget, other states are just gearing up to produce another round of payments for select residentsincluding Massachusetts.

According to local station WWLP 22, eligible low-income workers in the state will be getting a $500 payment from the state in March. Eligibility is based on 2020 state tax returns, and income must be between $12,750-$38,280 for single filers in order to qualify. Families of four will receive their $500 payment if the total income didnt exceed $78,600.

The aid is part of a $4 billion COVID-19 relief bill Governor Charlie Baker signed in December. Those who received unemployment in 2020 are not eligible for the first round of payments, though a second round is expected to be announced by the state at a later date. It is unclear if the second round will be opened up to those who received unemployment.

Representation. A COVID-19 stimulus check.Photo: Pixabay

Recommended Reading: 4th Stimulus Check October 2021

The Us Federal Government Sent Out Three Waves Of Stimulus Payments Since The Start Of The Covid

The US is in the throws of another wave of covid-19 infections with case numbers surpassing all previous peaks. In the past this led to the federal government stepping up to help Americans left struggling in the disruption the pandemic has wrought on livelihoods and household finances. However, this time despite workers out sick or quarantining no new federal stimulus checks look set to be sent out.

In a recent press release the Internal Revenue Service put out its annual report highlighting the efforts of its employees in 2021. One of the accomplishments touted by the agency has been successfully delivering more than $1.5 trillion to people across the nation through Economic Impact Payments, tax refunds and advance Child Tax Credit payments. Here’s a look at the three Economic Impact Payments, better known as stimulus checks.

How Can I Qualify For Stimulus Check

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The CARES Act and the American Rescue plan both made provisions for the stimulus checks to help Americans during the coronavirus recession. While the first and second stimulus funds came from the Trump administration, the third stimulus check was signed by President Biden. As a result, the three stimulus checks have separate laws for qualification.

To qualify for a stimulus check you will be reviewed based on your most recent tax return and that will determine your payment. If youre to qualify for the third stimulus check, then your tax returns must be within late 2019 to 2020 fall. The income rules also state that any taxpayer earning less than $80,000 annually qualifies.

For the household and couples filing jointly, the aggregate gross income is $120,000 and $160,000 respectively. You can also file for dependents of all ages and claim $1,400 per dependent. You will also qualify if you have a Social Security Number. It doesnt matter if youre not a US citizen, if you have a green card or work visa then you will qualify.

If you meet all the above requirements, theres nothing else and youre eligible to receive a stimulus check. There are special processes before those in the SSDI programs and non-tax filers can qualify for payment. The third stimulus check also expanded the list of qualified recipients to include incarcerated people.

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Fourth Stimulus Check Update: How To Get Another $1400 Direct Payment

Some Americans will be eligible for a $1,400 stimulus check this year even if Congress doesn’t pass any legislation for another round of checks.

Republicans and Democrats fought hard over the issue of stimulus checks after passing the first round in 2020, so most Americans have already received all the money they’re likely to get. However, some Americans will be able to claim additional payments when they file their taxes and they could be eligible for the full $1,400 payment.

One way Americans could be eligible for a full $1,400 payment is if they had a child in 2021. Why? Because the 2021 Economic Impact Payments were based on a person’s 2020 or 2019 return. So, any eligible dependent that came into the family last year wouldn’t have been included in the payment amount.

Those who have a child who qualifies for the Recovery Rebate Credit can claim the dependent when they file their 2021 tax return this year. To be eligible, the child must be under 19 at the end of the year unless they’re a student and a child, brother, sister, foster child, stepsibling, half-brother or half-sister or a descendant of any of them.

Unlike the first two rounds of payments, which limited dependent eligibility to just children, the third stimulus check made accommodations for dependents of all ages. So, a person who adds a parent or grandparent or another eligible dependent to their household could also be eligible for a $1,400 payment.

Can I File My Taxes With A Paper Return

Yes, however it is not recommended. If you have not filed your taxes yet and still need to, file electronically if possible. IRS processing of paper returns is delayed due to COVID-19. You can use if you arent normally required to file taxes, and get support from the chat function on the site, where you can communicate with an IRS-certified volunteer to help you complete the form. is available through November 15, 2021.

If you must file a paper return, you can download the tax forms from or use an online tax software program to complete your return and print it instead of filing electronically. If you need to file a paper return and do not have internet access, ask a trusted friend or relative for help.

Read Also: When Will My Stimulus Check Come

What If I Owe Child Support Payments Owe Back Taxes Or Student Loan Debt

If you are overdue on child support or owe back taxes or student loan debt, you could see your stimulus check reduced or eliminated based on the amount you owe. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service will send you a notice if this happens.

Your payment will not be interrupted if you owe back taxes or have student loan debt you will receive the full amount.

If you use direct deposit and owe your bank overdraft fees, the bank may deduct these from your payment.

Second Round Of Direct Payments: December 2020

Where’s my stimulus? | How to check the status of your stimulus payment

The second round of aid, a $900 billion package which was part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 was signed off by Trump on 27 December 2020. It provided a one-off check of up to $600, but this time, households were also able to claim an additional $600 for child dependents aged 16 or under. Those who earned under $75,000 in the 2019 tax year received the full stimulus check, while a steadily smaller figure was given to those on a higher annual income, up to a maximum phase-out limit of $87,000. The first payments, through direct deposit and paper checks with some later payments made by EIP 2 Cards, were issued between 29 December 2020 and 15 January 2021.

Those who didnt receive a stimulus payment either through the CARES Act or the December Covid-19 Relief bill were able to claim for it retroactively when they filed their federal tax returns for 2020 through the IRS Recovery Rebate Credit.

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