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Missing Stimulus Check? What to Do If You Don’t Get a Coronavirus Relief Payment

How to Find or Claim Your Missing Stimulus Money

Are you trying to find your missing stimulus check? What should you do if you were expecting a stimulus check but it doesn’t arrive?

There are a few ways you can check to see if you’re getting a stimulus payment and the status of your money. There is also a way you can file a claim for missing stimulus money if you did not receive a check. But first, you should make sure that you’re qualified to get a stimulus payment.

The federal government authorized two rounds of stimulus checks for each eligible American. The first round of payments was for up to $1,200 per individual. The second round of payments was for up to $600 per individual. Here are the details about both rounds of stimulus checks (also called Economic Impact Payments, EIPs) and what to do if your stimulus money is missing.

First Stimulus Check: Up to $1,200

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (a.k.a. CARES Act) was signed into law on March 27, 2020 and was responsible for the first round of stimulus checks, worth up to $1,200 per qualified individual. It also included up to $500 for each eligible dependent child.

You were eligible for a $1,200 stimulus check if your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on your most recent filed tax return (either tax year 2018 or 2019) was below:

  • $99,000 for Single filers
  • $198,000 for Married Couples Filing Jointly
  • $136,500 for Head of Household filers

Most of these stimulus checks were sent out in mid-2020, either by Direct Deposit or paper mail.

RELATED: How Can I Get a Stimulus Check? COVID Relief FAQs

Second Stimulus Check: Up to $600

The COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020 was signed into law on December 27, 2020 and authorized the second round of stimulus checks, worth up to $600 per qualified individual. It also includes up to $600 for each eligible dependent child.

You are eligible for the second stimulus check ($600) if your AGI on your 2019 tax return was below:

  • $75,000 for Single filers
  • $150,000 for Married Couples Filing Jointly
  • $112,500 for Head of Household filers

The IRS and Treasury Department started sending the second round of stimulus payments via Direct Deposit on December 29, 2020 and began mailing paper checks on January 6, 2021.

RELATED: Second Stimulus Checks: When, How, and How Much?

How Do I Find My Missing Stimulus Check?

A number of Americans have questions about their missing stimulus checks and they’re getting frustrated with the lack of IRS response. The IRS has an online tool called “Get My Payment” (GMP) that lets you check the status of your stimulus money. However, calling the IRS won’t get you any more information because the IRS agents only have access to the same online data that you do.

>> Find Out the Status of Your Stimulus Check

Many people are checking the status of their stimulus payment online but the IRS website is showing “Payment Status #2 – Not Available” instead of a date for when to expect a stimulus check. The IRS says that this status message indicates that you will not automatically receive a second stimulus check, which means that you will need to claim your missing stimulus money on your 2020 income tax return (Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR).

What Should I Do If I Haven’t Received My Stimulus Check?

If you are still waiting to get your stimulus money, you can use the IRS “Get My Payment” online tool to check the status of your payment. The IRS discourages people from calling in because the phone representatives will not be able to provide any information that isn’t in the “Get My Payment” database that you can see online.

The “Get My Payment” portal will ask you to enter some personal data in order to access your taxpayer profile and display your stimulus check status. Be ready to provide the following:

  • Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN)
  • Your birth date (day, month, and year)
  • Your street address
  • Your ZIP code or Postal Code

After entering your information, the system will show your stimulus payment status for both the first and second round of checks. If the “Get My Payment” system shows your stimulus check status as “Payment Status #2 – Not Available,” then you have the option of filing a claim for your stimulus check. You can claim your missing stimulus payment on your 2020 federal tax return (IRS Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR).

RELATED: Who Won’t Get a Stimulus Check?

How to Claim a Missing Stimulus Payment

If you don’t get a stimulus check but you believe you are entitled to the money because you qualify for it, then you can file a claim for your payment on your 2020 federal tax return (Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR). To do this, you will need to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit. This is a new tax credit that’s designed for people who are entitled to a stimulus check but did not receive one by mail or Direct Deposit.

The Recovery Rebate Credit was created by the CARES Act back in March 2020. It is available to any individual who did not receive the full amount of their stimulus check (a.k.a. Economic Impact Payment, EIP). For more information, please see Recovery Rebate Credit Available for Those Who Didn’t Get Stimulus Checks.


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