Since the federal government announced in late December 2020 that millions of Americans would be receiving stimulus checks to combat the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Team Clark has received a ton of questions about the payments.
Chief among those questions is: “When will I get my money?” Though the answer will vary from person to person, there are some things you can do to track your payment before it arrives.
How to Know When You Will Get Your Stimulus Money From the Federal Government
The first wave of payments hit taxpayers’ bank accounts on December 29, 2020, according to a news release from the Internal Revenue Service.
If you have yet to receive any money and are anxious to know when it might arrive, you can use the “Get My Payment” app to track the status of your money.
If you are using the Get My Payment app and receive a “Status Not Available” message, the IRS says you may not be eligible for a payment or it may not have enough information to provide a status.
The IRS says it updates the data once a day, so you don’t have to check back more than that. Read more here.
There is another way you can try to track your payment, depending on whether you expect to receive your money electronically or via a check in the mail.
If You Expect to Receive Your Stimulus Money Electronically
If you are eligible for stimulus money and you have your bank account information on file with the IRS, you can likely set up an alert with your bank that will let you know when the cash hits your account.
To do this, log in to your account on your banking institution’s website or app and look for an option to manage alerts. It may look something like this:
Look specifically for “Deposit Alerts” or even “Direct Deposit Alerts” and elect to be notified via email, text message or push notification to your phone. The options will vary depending on the bank or credit union, but most of them should have some kind of alert function on their apps or websites.
By setting up an alert, you’ll be able to tell that your stimulus money is available the moment it is deposited into your account.
If You Expect to Receive Your Stimulus Money in the Mail
Don’t have direct deposit set up with the IRS? Then it’s likely your payment will come as a check in the mail.
You can set an alert before the check is delivered by signing up for USPS Informed Delivery.
When you opt in to Informed Delivery, you’ll receive daily emails in the mornings with scans of all first-class mail that will be delivered to your address later that day. You can sign up for Informed Delivery here.
Using Informed Delivery will let you know that your check was supposed to arrive, so if you don’t get it, you can follow up with the postal service or the IRS.
The IRS says it will also send a notice or letter after you get your payment that will tell you the amount that you should have received. You should save this notice for your tax records.
If you are unsure that you’re getting a legitimate letter, the IRS urges you to visit IRS.gov to protect yourself from scam artists.