The IRS Get My Payment website for tracking the third round of stimulus payments went online over the weekend. For many users, the website has merely confirmed that their stimulus checks will arrive on March 17th.
But maybe you are one of the less fortunate people who has had problems with function. Maybe the page crashed on you. Or you are canceled for more than one visit within 24 hours. Or, perhaps most confusingly, it greeted you with these words:
Payment status not available.
Let’s decipher what these three words could mean.
Payment status not available? 3 possible explanations
Here are three possible reasons you might see “Payment Status Unavailable” when you check your stimulus money.
1. You are not entitled to any payment
If your income is above $ 75,000 if you are single, $ 112,500 if you file as a head of household, or $ 150,000 if you are married, your payment will be reduced for every dollar you earn over those limits. Once your income reaches $ 80,000 if you’re single, $ 120,000 if you’re a head of household, or $ 160,000 if you’re married and filing together, you’re not eligible for a payment.
Other reasons you might not qualify: someone else claimed you dependent on their tax return, or you don’t have a social security number.
For more information on requirements, see our $ 1,400 stimulus check FAQ.
2. You need to file a tax return, but you didn’t do so in 2019 or 2020
The IRS uses data from 2020 tax returns for those who have already filed or 2019 tax returns for those who have not. If you did not submit in 2019 and did not submit until 2020, you may receive a “Status Not Available” message because the IRS has not yet processed your return.
Note that if you’re on Social Security, SSI, SSDI, Railroad Retirement System, or VA benefits, you don’t need to file a return in order to receive your payment.
3. Your payment has not yet been processed
Although the IRS has tens of millions of payments planned, it is possible that you received the news because yours wasn’t one of them. More checks will be sent out in the coming weeks.
The only thing you can do is look back every day – but only once a day, warns the IRS. The information is only updated once a day, so checking it frequently will not provide you with new information.
If you enter information multiple times that does not match what the IRS has on their system, you can be banned from Get My Payment for 24 hours.
Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She writes the Dear Penny personal finance advisory column. Send your tricky money questions to [email protected].