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5 Reasons You Haven't Gotten Your Stimulus Check Yet

By Kailey Hagen – Apr 29, 2020 at 6:16AM

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Payments are going out now, and you might be able to speed up delivery.

The government has taken the unprecedented step of sending relief payments, more commonly known as stimulus checks, to millions of Americans to help them through the COVID-19 pandemic. The first checks have already gone out, but a lot of people are still waiting on theirs. That doesn't mean there's something wrong, although there could be.

Here are five reasons you may not have gotten your stimulus check yet and what, if anything, you can do to speed up its delivery.

Frustrated woman staring at laptop screen

Image source: Getty Images.

1. You don't qualify

One possible reason you haven't gotten your check yet is because you don't meet the qualifications. Individuals earning less than $75,000, heads of household earning less than $112,500, and married couples earning less than $150,000 are eligible for the full amount. If your adjusted gross income (AGI) is higher than this, you may qualify for a reduced credit, but this phases out at $99,000 for single adults, $136,500 for heads of household, and $198,000 for married couples. 

If your income was over the upper threshold for your tax filing status on your last tax return, you will not qualify for a stimulus check at all. You can see whether you're eligible by looking up your stimulus check payment status on the IRS website. If you do qualify and have not received your check yet, this tool should also tell you when yours will get delivered.

2. The IRS doesn't have your bank information

If you're sure you qualify for a stimulus check but have not received it, the IRS may not have your bank account information to directly deposit the funds. You can verify that by entering your information in the IRS Get My Payment tool, linked above. If it doesn't have any bank account information, it will prompt you to enter the routing and account number where you want the money delivered. It will take a little longer to get your money if you have to enter your bank account information, but when the IRS has a payment date for you, it will show up in the Get My Payment tool. 

When the IRS doesn't have any bank account information for you and you don't enter it, your check will be mailed to your last known address, and that can take several weeks. Verify that the IRS knows where to directly deposit your funds if you want to receive your money as quickly as possible.

3. The money went to an old bank account

If you recently closed a bank account, it's possible the IRS never got the memo and sent your money there instead of to your new bank account. If that happens, the money goes back to the IRS and you end up on the list of people scheduled to receive a paper stimulus check, unless you enter your new bank account information online. 

Individuals with bank accounts at multiple banks should check all of them to see if their stimulus check was delivered to a different account than the one they were anticipating. Married couples should also check both partners' accounts, if they have separate ones, to see if their stimulus checks have been delivered.

4. You didn't file taxes in 2018 or 2019

You're not required to file taxes if your income was at or below the standard deduction for your tax filing status for the year: $12,200 for single adults, $18,350 for heads of household, and $24,400 for married couples in 2019. But these individuals would still qualify for stimulus checks. They just have to jump through a few extra hoops because the government can't verify their income from a tax return.

Visit the IRS coronavirus page, linked above, and follow the instructions for nonfilers to receive your check. You don't have to do this if you are claiming Social Security retirement, disability, or survivors benefits or Supplemental Security Income. You also don't need to fill out this form if you're claiming Veterans Affairs benefits or Railroad Retirement or survivors benefits because the government already has your information if you're receiving one of these payments.

5. Your income is close to the top of the range for your tax filing status

The U.S. Treasury has stated that stimulus checks are going out to individuals with the lowest incomes first to ensure that those hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic get the assistance they need. If your income is close to the limit for your tax filing status ($75,000 for single adults, $112,500 for heads of household, or $150,000 for married couples), you may have to wait a little longer simply because you make a little more money, and the government believes you can get by a little longer without assistance.

There's no need to panic if you haven't gotten your stimulus check yet. That doesn't mean the government's forgotten you. Check the status of your payment on the IRS website and enter your bank information if necessary so you can get the money deposited directly into your account.

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