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Got questions about your $1,400 stimulus check? We’ve got answers

Published Mar 19th, 2021 2:53PM EDT
Stimulus check tracker
Image: Jason Raff/Adobe

The IRS began a massive undertaking this week, one that was set in motion by the enactment of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus legislation: Sending out 100 million stimulus payments, in the span of 10 days.

The initial tranche of those payments, generally comprised of $1,400 checks for millions of taxpayers, was sent out first to recipients whose bank details were already on file with the tax agency. The IRS prioritized sending out direct deposit payments since those could be delivered the fastest. Paper checks, sent through the mail, will understandably take longer to arrive — but beyond simply waiting for the mailman to make his rounds, there are also other reasons why you might not have received your third stimulus check yet. Read on for some of those reasons, as well as how you can use the IRS stimulus check tracker to follow your payment’s progress.

If you’re still waiting on your check, there’s one digital tool that’s going to become your best friend. The IRS has set up a web portal, its “Get My Payment” tool, and you’ll definitely want to visit that to learn when to expect your check, and whether it will be sent electronically or through the mail. The IRS says more than 35 million people used the “Get My Payment” tool over the past week, but note: The tax agency updates that page once per day, usually overnight, so there’s no reason to check it multiple times throughout the day. Also, don’t waste your time calling the IRS to ask when your payment will arrive. Beyond the long wait time before you can speak to someone, the IRS says the people you talk to won’t have access to information beyond what you can see yourself at

The IRS said on Wednesday that 90 million payments valued at $242 billion were delivered in the first batch of checks, while another 150,000 payments worth about $442 million have been delivered thus far via the mail.

Some people, when they log on to the “Get My Payment” site, might be greeted with the message “Payment status not available.” That can mean a few different things, such as that the tax agency just hasn’t gotten around to processing your payment yet. Unfortunately, this vaguely worded declaration might also mean you aren’t eligible for a stimulus payment, either.

For more details along the lines of eligibility, check out some of our earlier posts:

Hit up this link, meanwhile, for details to know if you haven’t filed taxes in a while and want to claim your stimulus check.

The IRS says that additional batches of stimulus checks will be sent in the coming weeks by direct deposit and through the mail as either a check or debit card. However, “the vast majority of all Economic Impact Payments will be issued by direct deposit,” according to the tax agency. “No action is needed by most taxpayers; the payments are automatic and, in many cases, similar to how people received their first and second round of Economic Impact Payments in 2020.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.