UPDATE: Money first published this story in April 2020. The federal government has since approved a second and, more recently, third round of coronavirus stimulus checks.
You can use the Get My Payment tool on the IRS website to track your stimulus check. After briefly going offline last week, it's now up and running with current information.
Read more about the third stimulus check timeline here.
It sounds like a question on a high school physics quiz: The government is giving you $1,200. You're not sure when it's being sent or when you'll receive it. How can you determine where the money is?
This is what millions of Americans are asking about their coronavirus stimulus payments, which started going out last week. The IRS is in charge, but it's still scary to think about an important $1,200 check getting lost in the mail (or on the internet).
Here's what we know about how to find out where your relief money is.
Can I track my stimulus check?
Yes. Just like the IRS typically allows you to track your tax refund, you can now know where your stimulus payment is.
On April 15, the IRS launched the Get My Payment application. With Get My Payment, people are able to check their payment status, confirm whether they're getting it via direct deposit or check, and enter their bank account information. In order to track the payment, you'll need to input your Social Security number, date of birth, street address and zip code.
If the Get May Payment app returns a message about how your payment status is not available, it may not have your information uploaded, the IRS may not have processed your 2019 tax return, or you may not be eligible for a stimulus check.
Get My Payment is updated once a day with fresh data.
When are stimulus checks being sent out?
Here's the rough schedule so far, courtesy of a House Committee on Ways and Means memo:
- week of April 13: the IRS will send out 60 million payments to taxpayers for whom it has direct deposit information from their 2018 or 2019 tax returns
- late April: the IRS will do a "second run of payments" to Social Security beneficiaries who didn't file tax returns in 2018 or 2019 but do have direct deposit on file
- week of May 4: the IRS will start mailing paper checks at a rate of 5 million per week — a process that could last up to 20 weeks
How do I know if I missed — or someone stole — my stimulus check?
Watch your mailbox. The IRS says it's going to mail out letters within 15 days of making people's payments, complete with "information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment." The note will go to taxpayers' last known address.
So, if you get a letter but didn't receive a direct deposit or paper check, you may want to contact the IRS. And remember: The IRS will not call, text or email you "asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster," according to a news release. That's a scam.