$1,400 Stimulus Check Alert: Millions Are Still Missing Their Money

$1,400 Stimulus Check Alert: Millions Are Still Missing Their Money

More than 85 percent of the $450 billion total earmarked for coronavirus stimulus checks already has been sent out. But how do the millions of other Americans find out where their money is? 

More than 85 percent of the $450 billion total earmarked for coronavirus stimulus checks already has been sent out to date under President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

This means that most Americans who are eligible for the stimulus payments have received them, but according to the Internal Revenue Service, there are still pockets within the U.S. population who have yet to see a dime.

Some of these individuals could be Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Railroad Retirement Board, and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries and those who haven’t filed tax returns, which makes it difficult for the IRS to know exactly where to send the stimulus checks to. Know that the same holds true for those who don’t have a permanent address or an open bank account.

More recently, the latest batches included hundreds of thousands of “plus-up” checks, which are “for people who earlier in March received payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns,” the IRS said. The agency has estimated that it will ultimately send out more than $1.2 billion of such payments. Individuals waiting for these supplemental funds may have to wait a while, as they will continue to go out on a weekly basis.

For those who just can’t wait any longer and want some sort of answer regarding their payment status, know that there are indeed options available. Here are three to strongly consider.

IRS “Get My Payment” Tool

After confirming income eligibility requirements for the stimulus check, make sure to check out the IRS “Get My Payment” tool at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment, which will give a stimulus payment status update. To use it, one will just need to type in the full Social Security or tax ID number, date of birth, street address, and ZIP code. Be aware that some individuals will receive a “Need More Information” message, which means that the stimulus check was returned to the IRS because the post office was unable to deliver it. Others will receive a message that says, “Payment Status Not Available.” “If you get this message, either we have not yet processed your payment, or you are not eligible for a payment,” the IRS says. “We will continue to send the 2021 Economic Impact Payment to eligible individuals throughout 2021.”

IRS Payment Trace

Some people reportedly have received a confirmation letter—also known as Notice 1444 or Notice 1444-B—from the IRS stating that their payment was issued even though they haven’t seen any form of payment. In this particular situation, the affected individuals have the option to request an IRS payment trace. Know that a similar action can be taken if the IRS “Get My Payment” tool shows that the stimulus funds have been transferred but nothing has changed in the recipient’s bank account. To request a payment trace, first call the IRS at 800-919-9835 or mail or fax a completed Form 3911, “Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund.” If the trace request was done via phone, then one does not have to fill out Form 3911.

Speak to IRS Representative

Many may not be aware, but U.S. taxpayers can actually speak to a live human regarding their missing stimulus checks. The IRS Economic Impact Payment phone number is 800-919-9835—but be warned that “IRS live phone assistance is extremely limited at this time,” according to the agency’s website. This means that individuals should be prepared to sit on hold for a considerable amount of time. Know that others have complained that they haven’t been able to get through to a live representative.

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Minneapolis-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.