Qualifying individuals will receive the stimulus check through direct deposit, a paper check or a debit card. If your stimulus check is directly deposited, the stimulus money will appear in your bank account electronically. Those who have filed taxes and provided the IRS with their direct deposit information will receive the emergency financial assistance payment this way.
If your direct deposit information is not on file with the IRS, you will get the stimulus check through mail as a check or a debit card. If the stimulus is not directly deposited to you by early January, you will most likely be receiving it in the mail instead. If you are in this situation, it is important to check your mail regularly.
What if I do not receive a check?
If you meet the eligibility requirements but you do not receive a government stimulus check, you will be able to claim the payment as a Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 taxes using Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.
If you are not required to file taxes, you may still use one of these forms to get your credit, since these funds are essential free government money for individuals. The credit will be used to increase your tax refund or lower the taxes that you owe.
If you have received the full stimulus payment, you do not need to complete Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.
The IRS offers a Get My Payment tool on its website that provides information about your stimulus check’s status. Keep in mind that data is updated once a day.
After you have received your stimulus money, you will get an IRS Notice1444-B with information about your payment. Be sure to keep this notice, along with Notice 1444 for the first stimulus payment, as you will need them when filing taxes.
What about monthly cash assistance?
If you receive the full stimulus check and are considered to have extremely low income, you may qualify for other forms of government assistance. This may include help from programs like TANF, which provides monthly cash assistance and other benefits to families that need help paying bills and qualify for the program.
Once you apply for TANF through your state and are approved to begin receiving payments, you will likely be given an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. This card is similar to the card you would get if you were receiving food assistance through SNAP. It works just like a debit card and may be used to pay for any product or service other than alcohol, “adult” entertainment or gambling.