Economic Impact Payments’ Status Check, And Where to Look

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The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has led to millions of American citizens applying for employment benefits. On its part, the federal government has come up with a stimulus package to help businesses, corporates and citizens to see through the crisis. The government has also introduced Stimulus check payments or the Economic Impact payments for taxpayers, businesses, tax-exempt organizations and others – including health plans – affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that recipients of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will automatically receive the Economic Impact Payments. The recipients will receive a $1,200 Economic Impact Payment latest by May with no need for any application filling or any such step.

“Since SSI recipients typically aren’t required to file tax returns, the IRS had to work extensively with these other government agencies to determine a way to quickly and accurately deliver Economic Impact Payments to this group,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Additional programming work remains, but this step simplifies the process for SSI recipients to quickly and easily receive these $1,200 payments automatically. We appreciate the assistance of SSA and the Bureau of Fiscal Services in this effort.”

The eligibility criteria is: 

$1200 for individuals with an adjusted gross income of upto $75,000.

Married couples filing jointly will automatically get $2400 with an adjusted gross income of $150,000.

And parents with children below 17 will get $500. This requires some steps to claim the benefit

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018 will also receive the payments automatically. About 80 million payments have been processed so far and will reach the bank accounts this week. The IRS projects the payments for this group will go out no later than early May.

Payment Method

There are some income and other limits that will be applicable.

The Treasury Department, not the Social Security Administration, will make these automatic payments to SSI recipients. It will be done through direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or by paper check, similar to SSI benefits.

Earlier, the IRS ensured that those receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits and Railroad Retirement benefits can receive automatic payments of $1,200 as many in this group do not typically file tax returns. If this group have children below 17 eligible for the additional $500, they can register by visiting special tool available only on IRS website and provide their information in the Non-Filers section.

Till date, more than 6.2 million taxpayers have successfully received their payment status, and almost 1.1 million taxpayers have successfully provided banking information. There are reports that the site is not able to handle the traffic and has crashed several times, but the government says that the traffic volume is high and people are put in a virtual waiting room for their turn and will be dealt with eventually and in line.

Due to the rush for claims, the IRS is currently not processing 2019 returns, which complicates matters. People are weary as IRS’s data processing systems were not functioning ably even before the outbreak, so handling the added tasks is going to be tough and tedious.

To Check Status

To check your status log into IRS’ main website and then click on Get My Payment link. You will be asked to supply some basic information to find out the status of your EIP. However, this online tool apparently works only if you’ve already registered to have federal income tax refunds automatically deposited to an account. Otherwise, you will be paid by mail, for which you may have to wait long.

The Get My Payment application will return “Status Not Available” if you are not eligible for a payment or the government does not have enough information to provide a status.

You may receive this message for one of the following reasons:

  • If you are not eligible for payment (see IRS.gov on who is eligible and who is not eligible)
  • If you are required to file a tax return and have not filed in tax year 2018 or 2019.
  • If you recently filed your return or provided information through Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info on IRS.gov. Your payment status will be updated when processing is completed.
  • If you are a SSA or RRB Form 1099 recipient, SSI or VA benefit recipient – the IRS is working with your agency to issue your payment; your information is not available in this app yet.

The Get My Payment data is updated once per day, so there’s no need to check back more frequently.

People are sceptical of the government’s benefits reaching all. Also not many are aware that the EIP is actually an advance tax credit for your 2020 tax year. If your 2020 income is low enough to qualify for the full credit ( which for most people this year will be) you’ll receive your $1,200 after you’ve filed your 2020 Form 1040 next year.

The Covid-19 virus is still racing through the world, and it will be some time before it can be brought under control.

Total confirmed cases in the US as of Sunday are 690,714 and the number of dead 35,443. Globally, confirmed cases topped 2.1 million recently. Deaths have tragically topped 140,000.

Priyansha Mistry
Priyansha Mistry
Currently editor at The HR Digest Magazine. She helps HR professionals identify issues with their talent management and employment law. | Priyansha tweets at @PriyanshaMistry

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