Stimulus Check Update: Still Missing Your $1,400 Payment? Here's Why Your Stimulus Might Be Delayed and How to Track It

by Angelica Leicht | Updated July 25, 2021 - First published on March 23, 2021

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A closeup view of a coronavirus stimulus check.

Image source: Getty Images

Not sure why your $1,400 stimulus payment is still missing from your account? There are a few reasons your stimulus money could be delayed -- and a few ways you can track it.

The third round of stimulus payments, which were part of President Joe Biden's promise to cash-strapped Americans, have finally started to hit bank accounts and mailboxes across the nation. Millions of people have been waiting for the arrival of the $1,400 to help ease the pain from the economic and employment hardships caused by the pandemic. And, now that the money is rolling out, it's offering the recipients welcome, albeit temporary, relief.

The first batch of the $1,400 stimulus payments was sent out mere days after the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law by the president. That initial round included more than 90 million payments in total, with more than 150,000 paper checks issued alongside millions of direct deposit payments. More payments are expected to roll out this week.

But while 90 million payments have already made their way to those who qualify, there are still plenty of other Americans wondering where their payments are -- or whether they even qualify for this round of payments. If you're waiting on that stimulus money to help replenish your bank balance, here's why it might be delayed, and when you might see that money come through.

When is the next batch of stimulus payments rolling out?

If you're waiting on a second round of payments to be made, you won't have to wait much longer. The IRS began processing the next batch of stimulus payments last Friday, and these payments are expected to start hitting bank accounts by Wednesday, March 24.

There is a chance that some of these payments may land in recipients' bank accounts via direct deposit even sooner than expected, according to the Treasury Department, IRS, and Bureau of the Fiscal Service, which announced the new round of payments on Monday.

That's not the only good news on the horizon, either. In a bid to expedite the payments, this batch of stimulus payments will include both direct deposits and paper checks.

It's unclear how many paper checks will be issued with this round, but according to the federal agencies responsible for issuing the checks, this round will include a "large batch" of paper checks.

That's great news for those qualifying Americans who have had to wait for paper checks with the other rounds of stimulus payments. There is currently no way to update banking information with the IRS, so you will still have to wait for a paper check to arrive in your mailbox. That said, it doesn't appear that the wait will be as long this round.

Some recipients reported long delays while waiting for paper checks and debit cards with the last two stimulus payments, in part because the paper checks and debit cards were mailed out much later than the direct deposits.

There were other issues, too, like clerical errors and confusion over the prepaid debit cards, that caused further delays.

But it appears that this new round of stimulus checks should be issued in a more timely manner. Those who are in line to receive paper checks will still have to wait slightly longer for their money, but the process appears to be working more smoothly than it was with other rounds.

What are the potential delays?

While chances are good that this third round of stimulus payments will continue to be issued at a record pace, there are still reasons your payment could be delayed.

As noted, one major delay may be caused by ending up on the list for a paper check or debit card rather than a direct deposit. If you are stuck waiting for a paper check or debit card, you will have to allow time for your payment to make its way through the USPS system and into your mailbox.

There could be a few other snags that cause delays as well. For example, the timeline for the stimulus payments that are funneled through the Social Security Administration, Railroad Retirement Board, and the Veterans Association is still unclear. This includes the payments to qualifying Americans who receive survivor or disability benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

This is not the first time that Social Security recipients have had to wait for information on their stimulus payments. Some seniors waited a month or longer for the first round of stimulus checks.

The IRS has not given a firm date for when those stimulus payments would be issued, but noted that it is "working directly with the Social Security Administration, the Railroad Retirement Board, and the Veterans Administration to obtain updated 2021 information for recipients to ensure it is sending automatic payments to as many people as possible. More information about when these payments will be made will be provided on IRS.gov as soon as it becomes available."

If you haven't yet received your third stimulus payment it could also be because you didn't qualify for the latest check. This round of stimulus money came with tighter income cutoffs, so fewer people qualified for this new batch of stimulus funds.

What if my check or direct deposit is missing after Wednesday?

While this week's payments will include both direct deposits and paper checks, a major portion of this round will be issued via paper check. So, if you don't see the money hit your account on Wednesday, try not to panic.

Those qualifying recipients who don't receive a direct deposit on Wednesday should keep their eyes open for a paper check or a prepaid debit card in the mail, the IRS said. You can use the USPS Informed Delivery system to keep an eye on your mailbox -- and any paper checks or debit cards headed your way -- by using this tool.

Not sure if you qualify? You can use the IRS's Get My Payment tool, which is up and running again with information about the third stimulus payment. This system will give you information on whether you qualify for the third stimulus payment, when the payment is scheduled for, and whether your payment is scheduled for direct deposit or paper check.

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