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Stimulus check status update: IRS payment schedule, when your plus-up money could arrive

por Robert Jageurs (2021-07-20)

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The $1,400 stimulus checks are still coming, but you might find yours is only a partial payment, or delayed.
Sarah Tew/CNET
New waves of third stimulus checks have been getting sent out weekly. But if you haven't received yours yet or got a smaller amount than you expected, there may be an issue as the IRS is juggling 2020 tax refunds and so-called plus-up payments. (Calculate how much of the $1,400 payment you should get.) Even if you did get it, we'll share the payment schedule and explain what to do if there's an issue you need to resolve.We can help you get your arms around the details of your payment, including the IRS timeline for payments and possible delivery issues, including:How to track your stimulus check, including through the mail. (Pro tip: Keep this IRS letter.)The payment forms your money will and won't take.How to report a problem, including when to request a payment trace.When veterans and SSDI/SSI recipients should expect their money.Keep reading for more details. In the meantime, here's the current discussion on a fourth stimulus check and details on child tax credit payments, including how much CTC money you can get and who's an eligible dependent. And here are five ways to save on medical expenses with the stimulus bill. This story was recently updated.
What's an IRS plus-up payment and why might you get one?
The IRS began making supplemental payments this week to those it owes more money based on their latest tax filing. If the IRS uses your 2019 taxes (and AGI) to calculate your third stimulus check and then finds it underpaid you after processing your 2020 taxes, you're due an adjustment called a plus-up payment. If you got your stimulus payment via direct deposit, that's how you'll get your plus-up money, too. If the IRS doesn't have your details on file, you may receive a paper check instead.Plus-up payments will continue on a weekly basis as the IRS processes 2020 tax forms and reevaluates checks. The batch going out this week includes 1 million plus-up payments for more than $2 million. Stimulus check payments so far

Direct deposit

Paper checks

EIP Card

Direct Express Card


First payment batch -- March 17

90 million ($242 billion)

150,000 ($442 million)

Not released

Not released

Not released

Second payment batch -- March 24

17 million ($38 billion)

15 million ($34 billion)

5 million ($11 billion)

Not released

Not released

Third payment batch, including Social Security -- April 3

2 million ($5 billion)

2 million ($5 billion)

Not disclosed

Up to 30 million to come

Not released

Fourth payment batch, including "plus-up" money -- April 7

24 million ($33 billion)

1 million ($3 billion)

Not disclosed

3.1 million

1 million ($2 million)

Here's how the IRS will send your stimulus moneyIf you're getting your new stimulus check delivered now (and not a plus-up), expect to receive it in the mail (how to track it) as a paper check or EIP debit card. However, if you're an SSI or SSDI recipient who has a Direct Express benefits card, you should get an electronic transfer. Otherwise, look for a check in the mail, but not an EIP card, according to the SSA. (More details below.)Note that it could take days between the date the IRS or Treasury processes your stimulus money and when you receive it, especially if your check is arriving through the mail. If you moved recently, you need to tell the IRS and USPS.

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Stimulus check 3: How much money you'll get


What would divide or delay delivery of your stimulus check?You receive SSDI or SSI benefits or veterans benefits and are waiting for your check -- millions can expect theirs this week.
Your stimulus check was deposited into a closed or temporary bank account.You moved and the IRS doesn't have your correct mailing address to send a check.Your check is stuck in the mail. (Here's how to track it.)Your payment may be garnished by private debt collectors.You may not receive money for all of your dependents, including a new baby or older adult.You may be a nonfiler who needs to file a 2020 tax return to claim dependents.The IRS based your third stimulus check on your 2019 taxes and you're owed money for your 2020 AGI or dependents.There was a calculation error and you need to claim an adjustment.The IRS sent a letter confirming it sent your stimulus payment, but the money never arrived.

Here's more information on problems you might encounter with your stimulus check.

Track your payment delivery status online and in the mail

The IRS updates its Get My Payment tracker tool for stimulus checks daily. This online app shows the status of your payment, including when a check is scheduled for delivery. The IRS portal also flags if there's a problem with your payment that you may need to address, but it doesn't tell you the amount you'll receive. You'll see your payment status in the tracker for SSI and SSDI beneficiaries. Those who receive VA benefits will be able to check the status of their payments the weekend of April 10 and 11. You can use a free tool from the USPS to track your mailed stimulus payment.

Stimulus check delivery start and end dates

Stimulus bill signed into law

March 11

First direct deposits made

March 12 (provisional), March 17 (official)

First paper checks sent

Week of March 15

First EIP cards sent

Week of March 22

Last day to get direct deposit

March 24, unless you receive a "plus-up" adjustment for 2020 taxes

First Social Security, SSI, SSDI payment sent

Weekend of April 3, most arriving April 7

First plus-up payments

Weekend of April 3

VA benefits for veteran nonfilers

April 14

IRS deadline to finish sending checks

Dec. 31, 2021 (mandated by the bill)

Last date to receive a check

January 2022 (if mailed checks sent late December)

Final claims for missing stimulus money

2021 tax season likely (in 2022)

What to do if you're missing some stimulus money from your third check

There are several reasons the IRS may owe you stimulus money after it sends out the third round of checks.

For example, the agency may have processed your 2019 tax return before it received 2020 tax forms and you're entitled to a bigger payment. If this is your situation, the IRS said it will automatically evaluate if you qualify for more money after it receives your 2020 tax return. It will then send you a supplemental payment for the difference between what you originally received and the amount you now qualify for. You don't need to take any action to receive this supplemental payment, according to the IRS.

If you had a baby or added a dependent in 2020, the IRS said it will also automatically send you a supplement payment once it receives your taxes this year.

But what if a clerical error accidentally left out a new dependent? Or perhaps your payment never arrived or was accidentally garnished? The IRS may provide a way to file for missing stimulus money before the Dec. 31 deadline. If not, you might have to wait a year to claim it, when you file your 2021 taxes in 2022 (even if you're a nonfiler who isn't typically required to file taxes).


If you don't get all your stimulus check money right away, you may need to address the issue down the road.

Sarah Tew/CNET
How you should -- and shouldn't -- report a payment problem to the IRS

The IRS doesn't want you to call if you have any issue with the delivery or amount of your stimulus check. So what to do instead? Our guide walks you through how to report stimulus check problems, including checks that never arrive (try filing a payment trace), direct deposit payments that go to the wrong account and other issues.

Social Security, SSDI, SSI and veterans: What to know about your stimulus payment

After a weeks-long holdup, the IRS is now making payments for SSDI and SSI recipients and retired railroad workers, many of whom automatically qualify for the third check. The first payments started going out April 3, with the majority of payments made electronically -- either through direct deposit or to existing Direct Express cards (PDF) -- by April 7, according to the IRS.

For those who receive veterans benefits, the IRS said it's reviewing data for Veterans Affairs benefit recipients and expects to start making payments by April 14. VA beneficiary payment information will be available in the Get My Payment tool this weekend, the IRS said.

Note that you'll most likely get the electronic payment transfer if this is how you normally receive benefits, and if you didn't file taxes in 2019 or 2020. But some in this subset of nonfilers could receive an automatic payment sooner if they got a previous check by using the IRS' Non-Filers tool, which is now closed. The SSA says this group will not receive an EIP debit card. Here's our complete guide to stimulus checks for people receiving Social Security benefits.


Millions may wind up getting a smaller check than they're owed, depending on their 2020 taxes.

Sarah Tew/CNET
What your 2020 tax return has to do with your stimulus payment

Taxes are now due May 17. So how will the IRS figure out how much it owes you? It will calculate your total (you can also do that here) based on the most recent tax filing it's processed at the time it's ready to tabulate the amount of your stimulus check.

If you filed your 2020 taxes early and you know your tax return was already processed, your total will likely be based on your 2020 adjusted gross income, not on your 2019 AGI. That presents complications if the difference between the two years disqualifies you from getting a third stimulus check

On the flip side, if the IRS uses your 2019 taxes and you're owed more money based on your 2020 AGI and dependents, you'll need to claim the difference at a later date. Note that if you filed your 2020 taxes after you got your stimulus payment, this IRS is now sending the catch-up payments now. (Learn more about some of the stimulus check exceptions and catches here.)

Stimulus money may still show up through the end of 2021

Although the IRS and Treasury are sending stimulus checks now, the agencies have until Dec. 31 to complete distributing the third payments. That's good news in the sense they aren't facing a compressed deadline to send out does all marijuana have cbd the checks, as they did for the second stimulus check in December, which only gave them a 17-day window to get the payments out. 

On the other hand, the nearly nine-month delivery window also means some people may find themselves waiting for their payment, for a variety of reasons. We'll have to wait and see how the IRS deals with any fringe issues that arise, such as the need to claim missing money. 

Additional information for certain payment groups

Stimulus checks aren't necessarily a one-size-fits-all situation. Here are additional guides for:

And here's everything you need to know about the third stimulus check, how to calculate your stimulus total and every way the stimulus bill can bring you more money.

Personal Finance

Your Money

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