COVID-19: Economic Impact Payments

As part of the CARES Act passed by Congress in March, individuals making up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married workers) will receive payments of $1,200 with an additional $500 payment per minor child. The payments decrease ratably and stop altogether for single workers making more than $99,000 ($198,000 for married workers and $218,000 for a family of four.)

The payments, also referred to by some as stimulus payments, are automatic for most taxpayers. No further action is needed by taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 and most seniors and retirees.

If you did not file a 2019 federal tax return, get an Economic Impact Payment, or register for an Economic Impact Payment already, use Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here to register for your payment. November 21 at 3 p.m. ET is the deadline to request your economic impact payment. For details, see Requesting My Economic Impact Payment.

Social Security, Railroad Retirement and Department of Veteran Affairs benefit recipients who already received a $1,200 payment now have until November 21 to register for a payment for their spouse or qualifying child.

These payments will be issued by the IRS via direct deposit and will be based on 2019 or 2018 tax return or 2019 Social Security statement. If someone has not filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and does not receive Social Security benefits, the IRS recommends filing a return to receive payment.

If an individual experienced an income loss in 2020 or if they have an increase in family size, they may be able to claim an additional credit of the difference when the individual files their 2020 tax federal income tax return in 2021

Stimulus payments will not be available for adults who are claimed “dependents” on tax returns.

Millions of Americans have already received their Economic Impact Payments (Payments) authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) continues to calculate and automatically send the Payments to most eligible individuals, however some may have to provide additional information to the IRS to get their Payments.

The IRS sent interest payments on tax refunds the week of August 18. If you got one, it’s not related to an Economic Impact Payment. Get details on these tax refund interest payments.

Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment, will be issued within a few weeks after the payment is made. This notice will provide information regarding the payment.  This notice will be mailed to each payment recipient’s last known address and should be kept with the recipient’s records. When individuals file their 2020 tax return in 2021, they can refer to Notice 1444 and claim additional credits on the 2020 tax returns if they are eligible for them.


If you have questions, you should visit this FAQ page, which is regularly updated and has helpful info about eligibility, calculating your payment, and more. The IRS also launched a new hotline to help answer FAQs about stimulus payments, which you can reach at 800-919-9835.

What do I need to do to get my payment?
You DO NOT need to take any further action if you filed a federal income tax return for 2018 or 2019. If you already filed your tax return for 2019, the IRS will use this information to calculate the Payment amount. If you haven’t filed your tax return for 2019 but filed a 2018 federal income tax return, the IRS will use the information from your 2018 tax return to calculate the Payment amount. 

When will I get my payment?
The IRS has begun issuing payments and will continue to do so over the next few weeks and months. They have launched a tool on their website where you can track the status of your payment. You can find it here.

I requested a direct deposit of my payment. Why is the IRS mailing it to me?
There are several reasons why your payment may have been sent by mail, including:

  • If the payment was already in process before the bank information was entered, or

  • If the bank rejects the deposit because the bank information is invalid or the bank account has been closed

We will mail your payment to the address we have on file for you. Get My Payment will be updated to reflect the date your payment will be mailed. Typically, it will take up to 14 days to receive the payment, standard mailing time.

Note: It is not possible to change your bank information once your payment has been processed. No action is needed to contact the IRS as phone assistors won’t be able to change your bank information either.

Get My Payment says my check was mailed on May 22, but I still don’t have it. What should I do?
Even though Get My Payment shows your payment was mailed on May 22, some of these  payments were not mailed on that date due to a system error.

If you  did not receive your payment, the IRS began mailing  these checks the end of August and generally those who were affected should have received their payment by the end of October. These checks are mailed to the address we have on file. You do not need to take any action. Get My Payment will provide the new date of when your payment was mailed or scheduled to be mailed. 

The IRS will mail Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment, to your last known address within 15 days after the payment is made. Keep this notice with your 2020 tax records.

Why can’t I get my payment status?
To use Get My Payment, you must first verify your identity by answering security questions.

If you verified your identity and received “Payment Status Not Available,” this means we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment right now. There are several reasons this could happen Two common reasons are that you didn’t file either a 2018 or 2019 tax return or your recently filed return has not been fully processed.

If your answers do not match our records multiple times, you’ll be locked out of Get My Payment for 24 hours for security reasons. If you can’t verify your identity, you won’t be able to use Get My Payment. Do not contact the IRS.

If you can’t get your payment status because you’ve been locked out, you must wait 24 hours and try again.

What if I did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 because I receive benefits?
If you did not file a return and receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits, or Railroad Retirement and Survivor Benefits, your information is already on file and no further action is required.

I haven’t filed a federal tax return for 2018 or 2019 because I’m not required to file. I don’t receive social security retirement or any other federal benefits. What do I need to do to get a payment?
You must provide basic information to the IRS to receive your Payment. The IRS urges you to take one of the following actions as soon as you can.

  • You can use the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool to provide simple information to the IRS so you can get your Payment. U.S. citizens and permanent residents can use this tool if they had gross income that did not exceed $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples filing jointly) for 2019 and were not otherwise required to file a federal income tax return for 2019 and didn't plan to do so. This is the quickest way to get your payment.

  • You can file a federal income tax return for 2019 with the IRS even if you receive non-taxable income or do not make enough money to normally have to file a tax return. All taxpayers should file electronically through their tax preparer, tax software provider or IRS Free File if possible.

Have your bank account information available when you use the tool or file so you can get your Payment as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the IRS will mail your Payment to the address you provide.

I did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019. How do I know if I am required to file a tax return?
Use the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) online tool that provides answers to tax questions. The Do I Need to File a Tax Return? tool can help you determine if you're required to file a 2019 federal income tax return.

Answer the questions about your filing status, federal income tax withheld, and basic information to help you determine your gross income to see if you need to file a 2019 tax return. If you had no income or income under a certain amount, you are not required to file a tax return. If you are not required to file a tax return, the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool is the fastest way to get your Payment.

I haven’t filed my 2019 tax return but filed by 2018 return and already received an Economic Impact Payment. Will filing a 2019 return affect my Economic Impact Payment?
No. The IRS used the information from your 2018 tax return to calculate the Payment amount since you haven’t filed your 2019 return yet.

If you did not receive the full amount to which you believe you are entitled, you will be able to claim the additional amount when you file your 2020 tax return.  We encourage everyone to review our “How do I calculate my EIP Payment” question and answer.

Will the IRS contact me about my Payment?
The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information - even related to the economic impact payments. Watch out for websites and social media attempts that request money or personal information and for schemes tied to Economic Impact Payments.

The IRS urges taxpayers to visit IRS.gov – the official IRS website – to protect against scam artists. The IRS has issued a warning about coronavirus-related scams.

For security reasons, a letter about the Payment will be mailed to each recipient’s last known address within 15 days after the Payment is made.

Is the IRS continuing to issue Economic Impact Payments based on 2019 tax returns individuals file in 2020?
Yes, the IRS will continue to process 2019 tax returns and issue payments to individuals who have not already received a payment and have not already been determined to be ineligible based on their 2018 tax returns.

If these individuals are determined to be eligible based on their 2019 tax returns, their payments will be issued shortly thereafter. The status will be reflected in the Get My Payment application.

These individuals will receive information regarding the payments through Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment, within a few weeks after the payments are made.  This notice will be mailed to each recipient’s last known address and should be kept with their records.

When filing their 2020 tax returns in 2021, these individuals can refer to Notice 1444 and claim additional amounts based on the 2020 tax returns if they are eligible.

If the IRS used a taxpayer’s 2018 tax return to determine the individual is not available for a payment, and the taxpayer files a 2019 tax return that changes their eligibility, will the IRS issue a payment in 2020 based on the 2019 tax return?
No. If the IRS has determined that a taxpayer was not eligible for a payment based on the taxpayer’s 2018 tax return, and then the taxpayer files a 2019 tax return that shows eligibility, the IRS will not issue a payment in 2020 based on the 2019 tax return.  These taxpayers can claim amounts based on their 2020 tax returns in 2021 if they remain eligible for 2020.

If the IRS used an individual's 2018 tax return to determine the amount of the individual’s payment, and the individual later files a 2019 tax return that indicates the individual is eligible for a higher amount, will the IRS issue an additional payment for the difference?
No. If an individual hadn’t filed a 2019 tax return or the return had not been processed at the time of the IRS determination, the IRS used the information from the individual’s 2018 tax return to issue the payment.

If an individual received a payment that is less than the full amount to which the individual is entitled, the individual will be able to claim an additional amount based on his or her 2020 tax return when the individual files it in 2021.  The IRS encourages everyone to review the “How do I calculate my EIP” question and answer.

My payment was issued but I lost it, or it was stolen or destroyed. How do I get a new one?
If you received your payment but accidentally threw it away or it was lost, stolen or destroyed, you should request a payment trace to ask for a new one. See How do I request a Payment Trace on my Economic Impact Payment? or What do I do if my prepaid debit card was lost or destroyed?

What if I did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 because I did not meet the income threshold or for other reasons?
The IRS has launched a tool which you can find here that allows non-filers to enter their payment and other financial information to receive their stimulus payment.

The form will ask for your Social Security number, name, address, and dependents. The form is only available via the IRS.gov website, which you can find here.

EIP Prepaid Debit Cards
Millions of Americans will receive their stimulus payments in the form of a mailed prepaid debit card -- if you’re still waiting on your payment, be on the lookout for this card in the mail and don’t get rid of it.

These cards will come in a plain envelope from “Money Network Cardholder Services,” NOT the IRS. You will see your name and “Visa” on the front of the Card, and the back of the Card will have the name of the issuing bank -- Metabank. This free card is safe and includes fraud and loss protections, and you can use it just like a normal debit card -- get cash at ATMs, make purchases, or transfer funds to a personal account.

If for some reason you did throw away or destroy your card, you can call Customer Service at 1-800-240-8100 and select the “Lost/Stolen” option to get a replacement for a small fee. Visit EIPCard.com for more info and answers to frequently asked questions.