Stimulus Check Update: Is Your $1,400 Payment Missing? 7 Reasons You Haven't Received the Third Stimulus Check Yet
by Angelica Leicht | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on March 31, 2021
Wondering why your stimulus payment hasn't landed in your bank account or mailbox? One of these issues could be causing a delay.
The IRS has been busy over the last few weeks with mailing out the third round of stimulus checks and depositing millions of $1,400 payments in qualifying recipients' bank accounts. So far, the federal agency has made impressive headway on the distribution of these funds. At the end of March, nearly 130 million Americans had received, or were in line to receive, their direct stimulus payments.
But while millions of lucky recipients have already gotten their direct payments for this round of stimulus money, there are still millions of others waiting for their payments to arrive. Considering that this money is needed to help cash-strapped Americans cover monthly bills, rent payments, mortgage notes, or other essentials while the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it's important to understand what's causing the hold up.
If you're still waiting on your third stimulus payment, there are several reasons your money could be delayed. Here are seven reasons why you might still be waiting on your $1,400 direct stimulus payment to arrive -- and what you can do to track the money coming your way.
Reasons why your stimulus check may be delayed
If you haven't received your stimulus funds yet, one of the following reasons could be the culprit.
1. Your payment hasn't been sent out yet
The third round of stimulus checks is being sent out in batches, and as with other rounds of stimulus payments, payments made via direct deposit to bank accounts on file with the IRS are prioritized. That said, the IRS has also been mailing out paper checks and debit cards with each batch of direct deposit payments, and it will continue to mail them out in the coming weeks.
If your bank account information was not on file with the IRS, chances are good that you're going to have to wait slightly longer to receive a paper check or prepaid debit card, which will have to be processed through USPS before it hits your mailbox. This can add significant delays to the time it takes to receive your payment.
2. You receive SSI, SSDI, or other benefit payments
Do you receive payments from Social Security, Veterans Affairs, or the Railroad Retirement Board? If so, that could be another cause for delay.
There are nearly 30 million beneficiaries of Social Security, SSI (Supplemental Security Income), Veterans Affairs, and Railroad Retirement Board who have not received their third checks.
That said, these payments will be sent out soon. According to the Social Security Administration website, these payments should begin processing this coming weekend.
"The IRS announced on March 30 that it will begin to issue economic impact payments (EIP) this weekend to Social Security and SSI recipients who do not normally file a tax return. The majority of EIPs will be paid through direct deposit and to existing Direct Express cards, and should be received on April 7," the SSA website states.
That said, there still aren't firm dates for when paper checks or debit cards will be sent out to SSI or SSDI recipients.
3. The money was deposited into the wrong account
As with the first two rounds of stimulus money, there have been reports with this round of money being deposited into the wrong bank accounts. If you have outdated banking information on file with the IRS, or if a clerical error caused your last stimulus payment to be deposited to the wrong account, you could be facing a delay due to the money being deposited into the wrong account.
Same goes if you recently switched bank accounts. If you recently changed banks, the IRS won't have your updated banking information on file. And, as of right now, there is no way to change what's on file, so you're in for a wait in this situation too.
4. You moved or changed addresses
The housing market is booming right now. If you took advantage of the low interest rates and recently bought a home, or if you moved apartments or rentals in the last few months, the IRS may still have the old address on file for you.
If the IRS has indeed sent your paper check or debit card payment to the old address, the check will need to be reissued -- and that means you're in for a longer wait.
5. You don't qualify
The income thresholds changed with this round of stimulus payments. To qualify for the third stimulus payment, you had to meet tighter income cutoffs.
Those who make less than $80,000 as a single individual or less than $160,000 as a couple filing jointly qualify for some or all of the stimulus payment this round. Those who exceed the maximum income threshold won't get any money for the third stimulus payment.
Since the previous thresholds for getting a stimulus check were higher -- $100,000 for single people and $200,000 for couples filing jointly -- you may be under the impression you still qualify. So, if you're missing your stimulus check, make sure you haven't exceeded the income threshold this time around.
6. A debt collector garnished the money for an unpaid bill
Do you have unpaid bills in collections? If so, that could be why you haven't received your stimulus money yet.
While the last two rounds of stimulus payments were protected from being garnished by debt collectors, this round of stimulus money was not. This was due to the most recent stimulus bill being fast-tracked through Congress, which left a loophole open for creditors to snatch your money before it lands in your account.
That said, you're only at risk of private debt collectors garnishing the money, and they must have a valid court order to garnish your stimulus check. It can't be garnished to pay things like old tax debts or child support, so if you're free and clear of owing money to debt collectors but owe back taxes or child support, this is probably not the cause of your delay.
7. You didn't file taxes
This round of stimulus money is based on the income you claimed on your 2020 tax return. If you haven't filed your tax return for 2020, or if you haven't filed a tax return at all in recent years, the IRS won't have a way to confirm your eligibility for this round of stimulus money.
If you haven't filed 2019 or 2020 taxes, the only real solution right now for getting the third stimulus payment is to file your 2020 taxes as soon as possible. If the IRS processes your return in time, you may get a third stimulus check in the mail.
If not, you will likely be able to claim a credit for the third stimulus check on your 2021 taxes -- much like the credit for the second stimulus check that was offered to those who qualify but did not receive a check, debit card, or deposit.
How to track your stimulus payment
The good news is that in many cases, the third stimulus payment may still be on the way if you haven't received it yet. If you're still waiting on your money, you can keep an eye on the mail for a paper check or prepaid debit card.
If you want to see what's landing in your mailbox before the mailman arrives, you can use the USPS Informed Delivery system tool to keep an eye on any paper checks or debit cards headed your way.
You can also track your payment through the IRS's Get My Payment tool. This tool gives you information on whether you're in line to receive a stimulus payment. If you are, the tool will tell you how and when it will be sent to you.
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