Economic Impact Payments
The U.S. government has used Economic Impact Payments (commonly referred to as stimulus checks) alongside unemployment boosts and other benefits in order to help offset income lost and inequality due to the COVID-19 epidemic. Below is information that can help you track your payment(s) and understand the process.
Updated: May 2021
Frequently asked questions
Economic Impact Payments
How many stimulus checks have there been?
As of May 2021, the IRS is currently issuing a 3rd stimulus check to every eligible American.
Is everyone elible for stimulus checks?
Stimulus payments are different from most other tax benefits. People can get the payments even if they have little or no income and even if they do not usually file a tax return.
How do I get my payments if I am experiencing homelessness/do not have a bank account?
The IRS is specifically trying to reach out to those who are experiencing homelessness and/or those who are unbanked.
I never got my first, second, and/or third payments...Can I still receive them?
People who did not receive the first two economic impact payments can still qualify for those payments by claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit.
How do I know if I am eligible for the THIRD payment?
More people qualify for the 3rd EIP than earlier payments. Here’s what is different:
- Payment amounts. Most families will get $1,400 per person, including all eligible dependents claimed on their tax return.
- Qualifying dependents. Not restricted to children under 17. Eligible individuals will get a payment based on all their qualifying dependents claimed on their return.
- Taxpayers who file using an ITIN may be eligible to receive a third payment for their qualifying dependent. Up to $1,400 per qualified dependent who has a valid SSN can be received if the taxpayer does not have a valid SSN but meets all the other eligibility and income requirements.
How do I receive my payment(s)?
The IRS will use available information to determine eligibility and issue the 3rd payment to eligible people who:
Filed a 2020 tax return
Filed a 2019 tax return if the 2020 tax return has not been submitted or processed yet
Did not file a 2020 or 2019 tax return but registered for the first EIP payment with the Non-Filers tool in 2020
Are federal benefit recipients who do not usually file a tax return.
NOTE: If none of the above applies, the individual will need to file a 2020 federal tax return.
The former IRS non-filer tool is no longer available. Individuals who do not normally file a return will need to file a 2020 tax return to receive this 3rd EIP.
Why haven't I received my payment yet?
Tax FAQ for Persons Experiencing Homeless
Why should I file my taxes when I am not required? The Earned Income Tax Credit
What is the Childhood Tax Credit?
Taxpayers with children may also be eligible for the Child Tax Credit. Some people will be able to get advance payments of the child tax credit later this year. Those who qualify for advance payments just need to file a 2020 tax return.
The credit amounts will increase for many taxpayers.
The credit for qualifying children is fully refundable, which means that taxpayers can benefit from the credit even if they don't have earned income or don't owe any income taxes.
The credit will include children who turn age 17 in 2021.
What if I do not have a permanent address?
What if I am residing in a shelter?
What if I don't have a bank account?
Options for people without a bank account for direct deposit
Many financial institutions will help a person lacking an account to open a low-cost or no-cost bank account. Individuals who open accounts will then have an account and routing number available when they file and claim a direct deposit of the EIP payment.
Please visit the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) website for details, in both English and Spanish, on opening an account online. Among other things, people can also use the FDIC’s BankFind tool to locate a nearby FDIC-insured bank. In addition, BankOn, American Bankers Association, Independent Community Bankers of America, National Credit Union Administration have all compiled lists of banks and credit unions that can open an account online.
For veterans, see the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP) for access to financial services at participating banks.
For those with a prepaid debit card, they may be able to have their refund applied to the card. Many reloadable prepaid cards or mobile payment apps have account and routing numbers that can be provided to the IRS. Individuals would need to check with the financial institution to ensure the card can be used and to obtain the routing number and account number, which may be different from the card number.
What if I can't afford to file my taxes?
File for free.
The fastest and easiest way to get the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit and EITC or to get the third EIP payment is to file a return electronically using IRS Free File. People can use a smartphone or computer to visit IRS.gov and click the File Your Taxes for Free link.
Through the Free File system, anyone who qualifies for the EITC also qualifies to use brand-name software to prepare and electronically file their return for free. The IRS urges anyone experiencing homelessness who has access to a smartphone or computer to take advantage of this service.