The Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Treasury have posted an update stating that more than twenty-five million coronavirus stimulus checks have been disbursed to financially struggling Americans under the American Rescue Plan.
The rollout of the fourth batch of stimulus checks now brings the total number of payments to one hundred fifty-six million worth approximately $372 billion, according to the agencies.
The majority of this batch—twenty-four million payments—were delivered via direct deposit, while the rest were sent out via traditional mail. Moreover, roughly nineteen million payments were earmarked for Social Security beneficiaries who did not file their 2019 or 2020 taxes or did not use the IRS Non-Filer tool for direct payments, and more than three million payments were sent to Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries.
In all, about 85 percent of stimulus checks sent so far have been direct deposited in bank accounts, the IRS noted.
Also, what’s notable about this particular batch is that it is the first one that includes “plus-up” or supplemental payments for those who only received partial $1,400 payments on an earlier date.
“This batch includes the first of ongoing supplemental payments 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 in a statement.
“These ‘plus-up’ payments could include a situation where a person’s income dropped in 2020 compared to 2019, or a person had a new child or dependent on their 2020 tax return, and other situations.”
Payments were also issued to those who recently filed tax returns in order to qualify for the stimulus money, due to the fact that the IRS did not have their necessary information on record.
These checks will continue to go out on a weekly basis going forward, according to the IRS.
For those who want to check on the status of their third stimulus payments, know that they can always log on to the IRS “Get My Payment” tool at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. To use it, they will just need to enter their full Social Security or tax ID number, date of birth, street address, and ZIP code.
However, be aware that some individuals 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.”
Finally, some people have gotten a confirmation letter (Notice 1444 or Notice 1444-B) from the agency stating that their payment was issued even though they have yet to receive it. In this situation, the affected individuals can request an IRS payment trace.
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.