Why You Didn’t Get A Stimulus Check

If you didn’t get a stimulus check, here are some potential reasons why.

Here’s what you need to know.

Stimulus Checks

Nearly 130 million people have received a third stimulus check up to $1,400 for individuals, $2,800 for married or joint filers, and $1,400 for dependents. If you’re not one of those people, here are 5 potential reasons why:

1. You don’t qualify for a stimulus check

Like the first stimulus check and second stimulus check, not everyone qualifies for an Economic Impact Payment. Here is the adjusted gross income threshold for the third stimulus check to get the full $1,400 stimulus payment ($2,800 for married or joint filers):

Single: $75,000

Head of Household: $112,500

Married/Joint: $150,000

If your adjusted gross income is higher than these amounts, you won’t get any stimulus payment:

Single: $80,000

Head of Household: $120,000

Married/Joint: $160,000

2. You’re getting a paper check instead of direct deposit

Most stimulus checks will be distributed directly into your bank account through direct deposit. If you don’t have a bank account or haven’t provided your bank account information to the IRS, then you may get a paper check or debit card. You can track your stimulus check with the Get My Payment tool, which can tell you whether your stimulus check has been sent and how you will get paid.

3. Stimulus checks aren’t distributed at the same time

Stimulus checks aren’t distributed all at once. That means your neighbor, cousin or sister may get a stimulus check before you. If you have a bank account on file with the IRS, you’re likely to get your stimulus check faster through direct deposit. However, if you don’t, then it may take longer to get a paper stimulus check or debit card. Like the first and second stimulus checks, the third stimulus check will be sent in batches over time. If you get Social Security benefits, you also may not have received a stimulus check yet. Why? Until this week, the U.S. Social Security Administration didn’t share contact information for 30 million Social Security recipients with the IRS, which has delayed the disbursement of their stimulus checks.

4. Your stimulus check was seized by a debt collector

It’s possible that a debt collector seized your stimulus check. How is that possible? Under the new stimulus package — the $1.9 trillion Americans Rescue Plan of 2021 — debt collectors can take your stimulus check if you owe past-due debt. This is different than the first and second stimulus checks, which didn’t allow debt collectors to garnish wages. Why? Congress passed the new stimulus package under budget reconciliation, a legislative tool that Congress can use to pass legislation with a simply majority vote rather than a 60-vote threshold. Budget reconciliation limited the ability of Congress to include a specific prohibition against the seizure of stimulus checks. After President Joe Biden signed the stimulus package into law, several members of Congress, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), proposed legislation to prevent debt collectors from taking stimulus checks. “Relief payments are intended for struggling families, not predatory private debt collectors,” Wyden said. “Our legislation would ensure help gets to the folks who need it to pay rent and buy groceries.”

5. You didn’t file a tax return

If you are required to file a tax return, then income eligibility for the third stimulus check is based off your adjusted gross income from 2019 or 2020. That said, not everyone is required to file a tax return (such as certain Social Security recipients or if you earned below a certain income threshold). If you didn’t file a tax return in these years or use the IRS Non-Filers tool, then the IRS may not have your income information to determine your eligibility to get a stimulus check.

Stimulus Checks: Related Reading

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17 million won’t get stimulus checks—expect the same for student loan cancellation

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Biden cancels $1 billion of student loans

If stimulus checks get cut, that’s bad news for student loan cancellation

Stimulus checks are coming soon, but student loan cancellation may take longer

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