Stimulus checks: Why are you getting ‘Payment Status Not Available’?

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Stimulus checks being prepared for printing

In this file photo, Economic stimulus checks are prepared for printing at the Philadelphia Financial Center May 8, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Fusco/Getty Images)

After the IRS’s Get My Payment tool went live Sunday, some people may have seen a message saying, “Payment Status Not Available.”

What’s going on?

According to the IRS, there’s nothing to worry about.

The Get My Payment application will say “Payment Status Not Available” for the following reasons:

  • Your payment hasn’t been processed yet.
  • The IRS doesn’t have enough information to issue you a payment.
  • You aren’t eligible for a payment.

The IRS will be issuing the stimulus check payments through 2021. You should check back on Get My Payment for updates.

For answers to more frequently asked questions, click here.

Officials at the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service said Friday that processing of the new round of stimulus payments has already begun, with the aim of having the first payments start showing up in bank accounts this weekend.

President Joe Biden signed the new $1.9 trillion rescue package on Thursday, the day after it won final passage in the House. The measure provides for payments to qualifying individuals of up to $1,400, with payments to a qualifying family of four of $5,600.

“The payments will be delivered automatically to taxpayers even as the IRS continues delivering regular tax refunds,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

It is estimated that 85% of Americans will be eligible for the payments and the goal is to have millions of the payments disbursed in the next few weeks.

Taxpayers who have provided bank information with the IRS will receive the direct-deposit payments, while others will get paper checks or debit cards mailed to them.

Officials said in the interest of speeding up the relief payments, the IRS will use the latest tax return available, either the 2019 return filed last year or the 2020 return that is due by April 15 to determine the amount someone might receive.

This same tool was previously used during the other stimulus check rollouts, and did reportedly encounter some problems, including being overwhelmed by the amount of users.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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