But what should you do if you’re one of the unfortunate few who are still sitting empty-handed?
If you weren’t aware already, you can actually speak to a live human regarding your missing or late check. The Internal Revenue Service Economic Impact Payment phone number is 800-919-9835, but you should be aware that “IRS live phone assistance is extremely limited at this time,” according to the agency’s website.
That means that you should be prepared to sit on hold for at least several minutes if you’re lucky or even an hour or two. Some individuals have confirmed that they haven’t been able to get through to a live representative.
If you’re still seeking a more concrete date on when the stimulus payment will arrive, there is indeed another way. You can always log on to the IRS “Get My Payment” tool, which according to the agency, more than thirty-five million people have already used it to get their stimulus payment status.
Also, know that you don’t have to waste your days by constantly checking on the site. The IRS says that the tool “updates once per day, usually overnight.”
You can access the “Get My Payment” tool at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment, and to use it, you will need to enter your 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.”
Others will get 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. If your address has recently changed, the best way to update it is to “file your 2020 tax return with your current address, if you haven’t already done so. Once we receive your current address, we will reissue your payment,” the IRS noted.
Keep in mind that fewer Americans will receive checks this time around, so make sure to confirm if you even qualify. Individuals who earn as much as $75,000 in adjusted gross income (AGI), or couples making $150,000—in addition to their children or adult dependents—qualify for the full $1,400 per individual.
Single parents with at least one dependent who earn $112,500 or less also get the full amount. Families in which some members have different citizenship and immigration classifications are eligible for a payment, if at least one person has a Social Security number.
The payments phase out much more quickly than in previous rounds—an individual with an income of $80,000, or a couple with $160,000, will receive nothing.
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.