Find Out If You Have Unclaimed Stimulus Checks — and How to Claim Them

Rachel Curry - Author
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Oct. 13 2022, Published 2:06 p.m. ET

The COVID-19 pandemic was (and continues to be) a whirlwind in more ways than one. If you didn’t receive one or more of the three economic impact payments, aka stimulus checks, you may still be eligible to receive them.

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Here’s how to find out if you have an unclaimed stimulus check and, if you do, how to go about getting it.

Use these tools to find unclaimed stimulus money.

The IRS discontinued the “Get My Payment” tool they had been using throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re looking to see if you didn’t receive stimulus money that you were eligible for, start by visiting your individual IRS account online.

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You can create an account (be prepared with your photo identification) or login using your username or ID.me account.

To find details on stimulus payments that have been sent to you, the IRS instructs you to do the following: “Securely access your individual IRS account online to view the total of your first, second, and third Economic Impact Payment amounts under the ‘Economic Impact Payment Information’ section on the Tax Records page.”

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Missing a stimulus payment? Here’s how to claim it.

Most Americans who received stimulus money from the government received a check or direct deposit. However, those who were eligible but didn't receive one or more payments for whatever reason are eligible to receive the money via a Recovery Rebate Credit. This tax credit is for “people who are missing a stimulus payment or got less than the full amount” but were eligible for it.

The IRS instructs, “Your Recovery Rebate Credit will reduce the amount of any tax you may owe for 2021 or be included in your tax refund, and can be direct deposited into your financial account. You can use a bank account, prepaid debit card or alternative financial products for your direct deposit. You will need to provide routing and account numbers.”

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You may need to file a tax return to get your stimulus check.

Some people didn't receive their third stimulus check because they applied to file their taxes late or had little-to-no income and weren’t required to file their taxes themselves.

By filing your taxes, you can claim a Recovery Rebate Credit and receive a higher amount on your tax refund. If your income is below the threshold of minimum income for required tax returns, you can file a simplified tax return by Nov. 15 and get the Recovery Rebate Credit in lieu of a stimulus check.

Don’t forget to check if you’re eligible for plus-up payments and the child tax credit to ensure you’re getting what you deserve in your tax return. Processing your latest tax return may change your eligibility for these programs and allow you to access any unclaimed stimulus money from the U.S. government. As the inflation data for September shows prices are still high, increased tax returns can make a big difference for late filers.

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