If you haven’t received your stimulus check -- the Economic Impact Payment from the American Rescue Plan -- your odds for getting it soon just increased. On Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service announced that they are disbursing another 25 million payments.
The fourth batch of payments began processing on Friday, April 2, with an official payment date of Wednesday, April 7. The IRS said that some people have already received direct payments in their accounts as provisional or pending deposits. However, the agency did not say whether some payments will be sent as “prepaid debit cards” -- a payment device it has used in the past.
The agency noted two things about the delivery of the checks that might give recipients some added insights when to expect their payments:
Direct deposits are more likely to be successfully delivered than mailed payments, and the return rate of direct deposits is also lower than in previous rounds of payments.
Payments to Social Security and other federal beneficiaries are being issued faster than they were during the first round of payments a year ago.
There’s nothing anyone can do to make receipt of their EIP any faster. If you’re curious or anxious, you can use the Get My Payment tool to see if your payment has been scheduled.
When to expect your payment
Below is a rundown of the types of recipients who can expect an EIP in the near future.
Social Security recipients: The largest number of checks -- 19 million -- went to Social Security beneficiaries who didn’t file a 2019 or 2020 tax return and didn’t use the Non-Filers tool last year. More than 19 million payments went to these beneficiaries, which include Social Security retirement, survivor, or disability beneficiaries.
Veterans: The IRS says it’s still processing and reviewing data received from Veterans Affairs, which covers veterans and their beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension benefit payments who don’t normally file a tax return.
If there are no further complications in that data handoff, the IRS says it expects to begin processing those VA payment files by April 11. Because the majority of these payments will be disbursed electronically, they should be received by April 14. The IRS projects VA beneficiary payment information would be available in the Get My Payment tool this weekend, April 10-11.
SSI beneficiaries: Another 3 million payments are in the pipeline and going to Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries.
Consumers eligible for additional payments: The new batch of EIPs also includes more than 1 million supplemental payments for people who received payments based on their 2019 tax returns this past March but are eligible for a new -- or larger -- payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns. Payments to this group will continue on a weekly basis going forward as the IRS continues processing 2019 and 2020 tax returns.
Consumers that the IRS needed more information on: Apparently, there were more than a million folks whom the IRS previously did not have information to issue a payment but who recently filed a tax return and qualified for an EIP. Payments to this group will continue on a weekly basis going forward as the IRS continues processing tax returns from 2020 and 2019.
Railroad Retirees: Close to 85,000 payments went to Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries.
People who don’t normally file a tax return: The IRS has a special reminder for those who don’t normally file a tax return. This includes:
Those experiencing homelessness;
The rural poor;
Individuals who didn't get a first or second round Economic Impact Payment;
Individuals who got less than the full amounts may be eligible for the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit; and
People for whom the IRS still doesn’t have adequate information. Some recipients may need to file an actual 2020 tax return just for the sake of providing information that the IRS needs to send payments to a qualified dependent. Eligible individuals in this group should file a 2020 tax return to be considered for an additional payment for their qualified dependent as quickly as possible.
For anyone falling under that last bullet, the IRS has a special section on its website that covers those who aren’t required to file a tax return. People in that group who would like help in filing a tax return can actually get assistance for free. The IRS's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs offer free basic tax return preparation to qualified individuals. Those include:
People who generally make $57,000 or less;
Persons with disabilities; and
Limited English-speaking taxpayers.
Details for that free assistance are available here.