Where’s my third stimulus check? Track your ,400 with the IRS Get My Payment tool

Where’s my third stimulus check? Track your $1,400 with the IRS Get My Payment tool

Where’s my third stimulus check? Track your ,400 with the IRS Get My Payment tool

There’s more than one reason to use the IRS online tracker tool to get details on your stimulus check.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Haven’t received your third stimulus check yet? We understand if you’re starting to feel anxious about where your $1,400 payment is and when your check could be scheduled to arrive. There could be a holdup with delivery if you think the IRS has your direct deposit information on file. If not, your third payment could arrive in the mail as a paper check or as an EIP card. But how will you get your payment if you receive Social Security benefits like SSI and SSDI? (Hint: there’s more way than one.)

We’ll show you an IRS tool that can help you hunt down your stimulus check and we’ll explain what its messages mean. The IRS portal can show if your check is processed and scheduled for delivery, as well as the payment form in which it will be sent. The tool is also helpful for flagging any issues you need to address with the IRS or your bank.

The portal, however, has its limitations, including how often it updates information and other important things you’ll want to know, like how much money you should expect to receive and when you can expect a check to arrive on your doorstep. We explain everything about tracking your check. While you’re here, this is the latest talk about a possible fourth stimulus check. And if you have children, brush up on our child tax credit payment FAQ. This story is frequently updated.

What the IRS Get My Payment tool tells you about your check

The IRS tracking tool, called Get My Payment, is designed to share the status of your third stimulus check, which was approved as part of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package. To get the status of your third check, enter your Social Security number, date of birth, street address and ZIP code. The tool will then display a message with information about your payment.

You’ll be able to see:

  • Whether your money was sent or is scheduled to be sent.
  • The payment method (direct deposit or in the mail.)
  • The date your stimulus money was issued.
  • If it can’t yet determine your status — more below on error messages.

The IRS tool won’t share this information with you

The IRS doesn’t want you to call if you have payment trouble. The agency says its representatives don’t have information beyond what’s shown in the tool. Here’s what we recommend doing to address a stimulus issue.

Get My Payment can’t be used to add direct deposit account information

The IRS stopped sending direct deposits March 24, but even before then, you couldn’t use the Get My Payment tool to sign up for a new account or correct details about your payment. Even if the IRS is unable to deliver your payment to a bank account and the money is returned to the government, you won’t be able to correct the details online — the IRS says it will resend the money in the mail.

That’s a departure from the first stimulus check, where the IRS encouraged people to register using this tool. 

With the IRS officially extending the 2020 tax filing deadline to May 17 and delaying processing tax returns, trying to register for a new direct deposit account with your 2020 tax return won’t get you into the system quickly enough, especially now that the IRS and Treasury have begun sending paper stimulus checks. However, if you haven’t submitted your taxes yet, signing up for a new direct deposit account could still get any tax refund faster, and it could help you receive other benefits quicker, such as a future child tax credit.

Now playing:
Watch this:

Stimulus check 3: How much money you’ll get


How to understand the ‘Payment Status Not Available’ message

Don’t be alarmed if the Get My Payment tool gives you a message that says “Payment Status Not Available.” You may see this message until your payment is processed, according to the IRS. So you may not have to do anything.

But it could also mean you’re not eligible for a payment, according to the IRS. So you may want to double-check your eligibility and plug your numbers in our stimulus check calculator to see if you are due money.

Need More Information: What this response means if you see it

According to the IRS FAQ for the 2021 payment, a “Need More Information” message in the Get My Payment tool means your payment was returned because the US Postal Service wasn’t able to deliver it.

The FAQ says you’ll be able to have your payment reissued as a direct deposit by providing a routing and account number for a bank account, a prepaid debit card (the card must be reloadable, the IRS said) or a financial service account that has a routing and account number associated with it. The updated FAQ said you can also update your mailing address to receive your payment.


The IRS and US Treasury are sending the third round of stimulus payments.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Get My Payment tool says you got your check, but you don’t have it. Here’s what to know and do

If the IRS’ online tool said the agency has issued your stimulus money, but you have no record of it in your bank account and it never arrived in your mailbox, you may need to take one of these steps, including possibly filing a stimulus check payment trace. You’ll need to have the letter the IRS sent you. It can take 15 days for the letter to arrive in the mail.

Your stimulus check will arrive in the mail and you can track it directly to your mailbox

If your third stimulus check is going out in the mail, the US Postal Service has a free app that notifies you when it’s about to deliver your stimulus money from the IRS. Called Informed Delivery, the mail-tracking service automatically scans your letters and alerts you as to when they’ll be delivered. Here’s more on how to set up and use the letter-tracking service from the USPS to keep tabs on your payment.


If your money is tied up in any way, the IRS Get My Payment tracking tool will indicate a problem.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Important: Store the IRS letter confirming your stimulus payment delivery, just in case

If the IRS issues you a stimulus check, it sends a notice by mail to your last known address within 15 days after making the payment, to confirm delivery. The letter contains information on when and how the payment was made and how to report it to the IRS if you didn’t receive all the money you’re entitled to. You’ll need to reference this information if you don’t receive your full payment and need to claim your money later. Here’s how to recover the information if you lost or tossed the letter.

You’re still missing money from the first or second round of stimulus payments. Here’s what to do

The IRS is no longer automatically sending out the first and second payments that were approved in 2020. If you believe you’re still owed money from either of those payment rounds, your best chance of claiming those funds is to file for the Recovery Rebate Credit as part of the tax season 2020

If you’re eligible, you’ll need to know the amount of money the IRS allotted you, which you can find out online or from the letter the agency mailed. The IRS said the updated Get My Payment tracker won’t give you information on the first and second checks. Instead, you need to set up and check your IRS account for information on those two payments.

For more stimulus check details, here’s everything to know about the third check. Here’s every way the March 2021 stimulus bill can benefit you And this is what we know so far about whether a fourth stimulus check could happen.