The IRS has already started making stimulus payments as part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan with millions of Americans set to benefit from $1,400 checks.
Many people are currently waiting on the payments and the IRS has given some indication of the timing of stimulus checks, but it’s not possible to be entirely certain at this stage when an individual will be paid.
The IRS and the Treasury Department have already sent electronic transfers to bank accounts to the value of $242 billion as of March 17 but other recipients will have to wait for checks or EIP (Economic Impact Payment) cards to be mailed to them.
The status of your stimulus payment can be tracked using the IRS’ Get My Payment online tool.
Checks and EIP cards are designed to be sent to those who don’t have direct deposit set up with the IRS, though it’s not entirely clear why some people receive cards and others checks.
The first paper checks were expected to start arriving from around March 19, according to CNET. That would mean people eligible for the checks would start to see them in mailboxes from next week.
EIP cards may be mailed out beginning the week of March 22. These are prepaid Visa debit cards that must be activated online before recipients can use them to make purchases.
It’s worth noting, however, that this stimulus payment may not be made via the same method as the last two. For example, if you received the last stimulus payment through a bank deposit, you could still be sent a physical check or EIP card this time.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)recipients can expect to receive their stimulus checks through Direct Express—the same way they receive their regular payments—“within the next few weeks,” though no precise date has been announced.
Technically, the IRS has until December 31, 2021 to finish sending all the stimulus checks. This could mean that some eligible people don’t receive their payment until January, 2022, though this is unlikely.
There could also be individual delays and part payment of the stimulus money arising from a variety of factors, such as clerical errors, changes in personal circumstances such as having a new baby and payments being mistakenly garnished.
It may be possible to claim for missing stimulus money for the 2021 tax season when filings are made next year.