No Stimulus Check Yet? 6 Reasons Why It May Be Held Up

May 1, 2020

Nearly 90 million Americans have gotten their stimulus checks successfully, but the process hasn’t been seamless for everyone.

Those who opted to receive their 2018 or 2019 tax refund via direct deposit were among the first to score a stimulus check as part of the $2.2 trillion bill called the CARES Act, which aims to help Americans through these uncertain times.

According to MarketWatch, the IRS distributed 88.1 million stimulus checks as of April 17, paying out a total of $157.96 billion.

Moving forward, the IRS will follow a timeline of mailing 5 million checks each week for up to 20 weeks prioritizing low-income Americans starting with taxpayers who have an adjusted gross income of $10,000.

The waiting game may not be ideal for those who are relying on the income to take care of their families or pay the bills.

Here are a few reasons you may not have gotten your stimulus check yet, and how you may be able to speed up the process.

The IRS Doesn’t Have Your Bank Account Info

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. advises submitting a bank account so that you get the stimulus check deposited into your account.

Bank account information may be submitted the IRS website. The IRS Get My Payment provides a tracking tool to check on your payment status and receive updates on when you will receive it. Marketwatch also notes that opting to get a direct deposit might bypass fees from cashing checks.

You Don’t Qualify

Under the CARES Act, only individuals making below $75,000 and married couples earning under $150,000 will be eligible for the one-time $1,200 or $2,400 payment.

Payments will decrease by $5 for every $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 threshold. If you make more than $99,000 individually or over $198,000 combined, you do not qualify.

You’re Being Claimed as a Dependent

Young adults in particular may not be eligible for a stimulus check because parents have claimed them as dependents on their taxes.

Since the IRS is pulling from mainly 2018 tax returns, it could be showing a young adult as a dependent when they no longer are. Read more about who may or may not qualify here!

System Glitches

No system is perfect and system glitches may be causing a delay in payment.
Many tax preparers like H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt are offering advances on refunds via prepaid cards. Marketwatch notes that this means the IRS might not be putting stimulus money in the right account. H&R Block released a statement explaining the IRS is not always using clients' final destination bank account and they are working to remedy the issues.

Your Money Is Going to Debt Collectors

Many Americans reported that their stimulus checks were being taken away by banks. The CARES Act reportedly doesn’t prevent debt collectors from taking the checks when they are deposited into bank accounts, and many institutions have been taking the money to pay off loans and overdraft fees without permission.

Some states and cities have put orders in place to prevent this from happening, according to the National Consumer Law Center.

Immigration Status Is Preventing You From Getting a Check

The government announced that it is only paying checks to U.S. citizens and certain categories of non-U.S. citizens including “legal permanent residents” who have green cards. However, this alienates anyone who has a green-card application pending. Anyone without a social security number is also not eligible. Read more here.

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