CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

Third stimulus check: how to check its status with the IRS Get My Payment tool

Another 37 million stimulus checks were dispatched this week, taking the total to 127 million. Find out when your check will arrive and how much it will be.

Third stimulus check: how to check its status with the IRS Get My Payment tool
Yuriko Nakao REUTERS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), US Department of the Treasury and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service announced on Wednesday that they have started disbursing around 37 million payments in the second batch of Economic Impact Payments from the American Rescue Plan. This will bring the total disbursed payments from President Biden's $1.9tn coronavirus relief package to approximately 127 million payments worth approximately $325 billion. An estimated 160 million Americans have already received or are due to receive a direct payment worth up to $1,400 per person.

Since the the first payments left the treasury just over a week ago, some high street banks such as Fargo Wells have reported issues with their online banking, meaning that customers are unable to check if the payment has landed. Out of the 37 million payments to go out this week, 17 million will be through direct deposit into individuals' bank accounts, 15 million will be paper checks mailed to addresses on file at the IRS and around 5 million will be pre-paid debit cards also sent through the post.

If for some reason your stimulus payment has not arrived, the IRS “Get My Payment” tool will let you know the status of your stimulus check.

Tracking your stimulus check: IRS' Get My Payment tool

The IRS’ tracking tool is called Get My Payment and is updated once a day, usually at night, with the latest information. The tool can be used to track payments for both filers of tax returns and non-filers. The most recent guidance from the IRS, published yesterday states:

“The second batch of payments includes direct deposits, as well as paper checks and debit cards being sent through the mail.”

The Frequently Asked Questions page also includes information on how to claim missing or insufficient payments from either of the first two rounds of stimulus checks, and how to manage various error messages from the tracking tool.

How long will it take for my stimulus check to arrive?

In previous rounds of payments some have had to wait weeks or even months longer than others for their stimulus check to arrive. Although the IRS has generally managed to cut out the administrative issues over time, the different distribution methods make delays inevitable for some.

The initial batch of 90 million payments that went out from 12 March were sent to eligible taxpayers who filed 2019 or 2020 returns - all of those payments were made by direct deposit which is by far the quickest method. The IRS sends the money directly to the recipient’s bank account, a method used for the majority of all stimulus check payments.

Paper checks and pre-paid debit cards

However if the IRS do not have sufficient details on file for the recipients they may be forced to send either physical stimulus checks or Economic Impact Payment (EIP) debit cards to the recipient’s home address.

Paper checks and debit cards (also known as EIP cards) began processing on Friday 19 March  and will continue to be sent by mail over the next few weeks.. The EIP debit cards will need to be produced and distributed too, meaning that the process will take longer. In previous rounds these have started to arrive around a week after the physical checks.