Stimulus Checks for Seniors: Why are So Many Seniors Still Waiting?

Joe Biden Stimulus

Stimulus Checks for Seniors: Why are So Many Seniors Still Waiting?

Although most of the payments have been made quickly, there have been some holdups due to errors or overworked staff.

Key point: No system is perfect and there have been some delays in stimulus check disbursement. Here is how you can check on the status of your payment.

For individuals who receive Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits, there is a high likelihood that most already have gotten their hands on the coronavirus stimulus checks sent out under the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan

In the most recent and much-anticipated sixth batch of payments, roughly six hundred thousand checks targeted these particular beneficiaries, including those individuals with foreign addresses. 

This first appeared earlier and is being reposted due to reader interest.

There are, however, reports of thousands of seniors who haven’t yet seen their stimulus funds, though keep in mind that many could still be in transit via the post office. The advice for this situation is to do one’s best to stay patient.  

But take note that people can track USPS mail delivery. Just sign up for Informed Delivery, which enables individuals on a daily basis to digitally preview and manage mail deliveries, such as stimulus checks and debit cards. Best of all, the service is totally free. 

“Informed Delivery provides eligible residential consumers with a digital preview of their household’s incoming mail scheduled to arrive soon,” the USPS website states. “Users can view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of incoming letter-sized mailpieces (not the inside contents) via email or an online dashboard.”  

Be aware, though, that it can take up to three days to activate Informed Delivery on an account, and people have the option to cancel the service once they receive their stimulus funds.  

For those who just can’t stay patient and want an immediate answer regarding their stimulus payment status, there are options available.

One of the more popular ways is via the “Get My Payment.” To use it, one will just need to enter his or her full Social Security or tax ID number, date of birth, street address, and ZIP code—then a status update should be revealed on the screen.

Know that others can request an IRS payment trace. To request one, first call the IRS at 800-919-9835 or mail or fax a completed Form 3911, “Taxpayer Statement Regarding Refund.”  

On Form 3911, write “EIP3” on the top of the form, then answer all of the refund questions as they relate to the missing stimulus check. When one reaches item seven under section one, check the box for “Individual” as the type of return. For “Date Filed,” leave that blank and then sign the form. Keep in mind that both spouses must sign the form if they are married and filing together.  

For those who choose to call the IRS, be sure to set aside some time to complete this process because some people have been left on hold for a considerable amount of time.  

In addition, be aware that a Recovery Rebate Credit has been added to all tax returns this year, so that people can eventually receive their overdue payments.  

“If you didn’t get any payments or got less than the full amounts, you may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return to claim the credit even if you don’t normally file,” the IRS website says.

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.  This first appeared earlier and is being reposted due to reader interest.

Image: Reuters