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Didn’t get your $1,400 stimulus check today? Here’s what you need to know

Published Mar 17th, 2021 1:08PM EDT
Stimulus check tracker
Image: Jason Raff/Adobe

It’s payday in America. Billions of dollars in stimulus money is landing in customer checking accounts at banks across the country today, according to Nacha — the organization over the ACH Network payment system. The IRS announced that today, March 17, is the settlement date for a huge first wave of these stimulus payments, and Nacha rules require banks and credit unions to make the funds available to account holders by 9 a.m. on the settlement date.

Millions of payments were accommodated through the ACH network today, which, again, is why it might feel a little like payday in America right now. Indeed, President Biden himself estimated that 85% of Americans would receive one of the $1,400 stimulus checks made possible by the recently enacted $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief legislation. However, it’s important to know some of the reasons that might explain why you don’t necessarily receive yours right away and issues that might cause you not to receive a check at all. For starters, the IRS’s stimulus check tracker will give you an indication of when your payment is expected to arrive, and it also will communicate any disruption to you, as well.

As we noted yesterday, this is simply a matter of visiting the IRS’ “Get My Payment” stimulus check tracker and inputting a few identifying details about yourself, like your date of birth, street address, and social security number. Once you’ve done that, you’ll see one of three messages. One of those messages is that your payment has been processed, a payment date is available, and that your stimulus payment is going to be sent to you either by direct deposit to your bank account or through the mail (which can mean you’ll either receive the money as a paper check or as a pre-loaded debit card).

The other messages you might see are that your payment status is not yet available, or that the IRS needs more information to process your stimulus check. Regarding the latter, that’s because the IRS moves people to the front of the payment line that it knows how to contact, thus the first tranches of the $422 billion in funds headed to more than 100 million taxpayers goes to people who, for example, have a bank account on file with the IRS that can accept direct deposits.

The IRS told reporters this week that those 100 million payments are being sent out over the next 10 days. “You don’t need to do anything to get your stimulus check,” a TurboTax spokesperson told CBS MoneyWatch. “The IRS will determine eligibility based on your last tax return (either 2019 or 2020) and will likely send your payment to the bank account where your tax refund was deposited.”

If you check the “Get My Payment” tool and see that the IRS needs more information to process your check, it might be because the agency doesn’t have your bank account details. But if you’re greeted by the “payment status not available” message, that could be simply because the IRS hasn’t gotten around to yours yet — or, unfortunately, that you’re not eligible for a payment at all (perhaps because you’ve maxed out on the income eligibility — here’s how you can check if you qualify). More details are available in our previous post, here.

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.