35 million Americans still waiting for COVID-19 stimulus checks

Posted at 8:05 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 17:34:46-04

Back in March, Congress approved a $2 trillion stimulus package in response to the economic shutdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, an unprecedented 159 million Americans have received stimulus checks.

However, while almost $267 billion has been handed out, some Floridians are still waiting and in desperate need.

Amy Bennett says her 1,200 stimulus check could save her small business, which creates custom Jenga-esque party blocks, from going bankrupt.

"I have about two weeks," Bennett says. "I'm just really struggling and doing whatever I can."

Bennett isn't alone. A House Ways and Means Committee report suggests there are between 30-35 million other Americans still waiting for payment. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that includes at least 750,000 Floridians.

"I don't know what's holding it up," Bennett says. "It just seems like to me small businesses are not being taken care of in this situation."

Financial experts at Credit Card Insider say delayed payments have become a common question. Greg Mahnken, who works with the company, said there are several reasons why a check hasn't arrived.

The first thing you can do is check to see if there is direct deposit information on your tax account. If so, you will want to make sure that your banking information and address are up-to-date.

However, if you're sure you're eligible, Mahnken says the biggest issue might be your income level.

"The IRS spelled out in April how they were going to process payments," Mahnken says. "They were going to start with the lowest-income Americans first and go from there."

There are other reasons why your stimulus payment hasn’t arrived yet. For example, if you didn't file a tax return within the last two years, you need to submit basic information to the IRS.

It's also possible that you may received your payment in the form of a debit card and tossed it, believing it was a scam or junk mail.

There are two ways you can check on the status of your stimulus payment. The best way is online using the IRS's "Get My Payment" tool, which can shed some light on what’s holding up your payment.

There's also a stimulus hotline at 1-800-919-9835, which gives callers a chance to speak with a government representative. Be warned, wait-times can exceed an hour.

For those still out of luck, the government has one last ray of hope. Officials at the Treasury Department said in a news release that taxpayers can claim their payment when they file in 2020.

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