A staggering 20 million Americans still haven’t received their $1,200 stimulus check, and the Internal Revenue Service has warned desperate taxpayers hard-hit by the economic toll of the pandemic they could be waiting until June or later to get the handout.
The IRS said Friday it has dished out 130 million checks worth a total of $200 billion since the payments started being made on April 15.
But this leaves around 20 million of the 150 million eligible people still waiting for the much-needed funds – around the same number of people who lost their jobs in April as the pandemic battered the economy.
The Labor Department’s monthly employment report released Friday showed the unemployment rate spiked to 14.7 percent last month, with a staggering 20.5 million jobs being lost – the steepest plunge since the Great Depression.
The IRS has now issued a deadline of 12 p.m. ET Wednesday for eligible taxpayers to provide their banking details via the online portal or face more delays waiting for a check to arrive by mail.
A staggering 20 million Americans still haven’t received their $1,200 stimulus check, and the Internal Revenue Service has warned desperate taxpayers hard-hit by the economic toll of the pandemic they could be waiting until June or later to get the handout
‘After noon Wednesday, the IRS will begin preparing millions of files to send to [the Bureau of Fiscal Services] for paper checks that will begin arriving through late May and into June,’ the IRS said last week.
Americans who set up a direct deposit should receive the checks quicker than those who don’t, the IRS has said.
Those who miss the deadline or can’t access the online portal fall to the bottom of the list, meaning they may not receive a dime until June or later.
Last month, the Associated Press reported that it could even take up until late August for all the checks to reach American citizens.
Newly-unemployed Americans continue to air their frustrations over the scheme on social media – as they still await the payment almost a month after its launch and have no idea if or when to expect it.
‘I entered my bank info on the app when it first came online and I’m still waiting for my stimulus check!!’ one person posted on Twitter Tuesday.
‘How do I know when my deposit will be made. The faq has no info in regards to payment schedule, and the reported window I slot into by AGI was last Friday.’
Others asked for clarity over the delays, with one person tweeting: ‘Can u explain hold-ups?’
Newly-unemployed Americans continue to air their frustrations over the scheme on social media – as they still await the payment almost a month after its launch
The federal stimulus has been plagued with issues since it was launched last month.
The Get My Payment portal launched on April 15 and within hours had gone into meltdown.
The system crashed and frustrated taxpayers had flooded social media with complaints of error messages saying the system couldn’t find any of their details.
Several complained of getting a message saying: ‘Payment Status Not Available. According to information that we have on file, we cannot determine your eligibility for a payment at this time.’
The message sparked concerns that some people are being missed out of the stimulus package or may have been incorrectly deemed ineligible.
Parents of young children reported missing out on the $500 check for their dependent children.
Others told how the payments were sent to the wrong bank accounts – often accounts that didn’t even belong to them.
Yet, while many despaired at their accounts sitting empty, bereaved relatives were traumatized by blunders that meant checks were sent to people who have been dead for years.
The error message many taxpayers got last month. The system has been plagued with issues since its launch . The IRS has now issued a deadline of 12 p.m. ET Wednesday for eligible taxpayers to provide their banking details via the online portal
People living in some states have received their payments faster than others, according to a CBS MoneyWatch analysis of IRS data and the number of taxpayers in each state.
Almost all eligible taxpayers in West Virginia have received their checks already, whereas over in New Jersey, only around seven in 10 have so far got the funds.
This is largely because the IRS is first sending checks to lower- and middle-income households over high-income households, and there are key differences in income levels between the two states.
New Jersey’s median annual household income is almost $82,000, almost double West Virginia’s of $44,000, meaning many households in the latter state are ranked a higher priority.
The IRS has downplayed the issues throughout the process, although in a rare admission of teething problems it said Monday it had rolled out ‘significant enhancements’ to the portal to ‘deliver an improved and smoother experience.’
It is not clear what the improvements are.
Stark figures from the Labor Department last week (above) showed the unemployment rate spiked to 14.7 percent in April and the US economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs
The funds provide a much-needed boost to American households as unemployment has soared thanks to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Stark figures from the Labor Department last week showed the unemployment rate spiked to 14.7 percent in April and the US economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs.
The enormous magnitude of job cuts has plunged the US economy into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s where the jobless rate reached 25 percent.
Nearly all the job growth achieved during the 11-year recovery from the Great Recession has now been lost in just one month.
The largest monthly job loss prior to April was about 2 million in September 1945 after WWII.
In March 2009, at the height of the Great Recession, 800,000 jobs were lost.
HOW TO GET YOUR STIMULUS CHECK:
For funds to be paid directly into a bank account, people must input their details into the IRS Get My Payment portal by noon ET on Wednesday May 13.
On the portal, users are asked to enter their Social Security number, date of birth and mailing address in order to track their payment.
The site will respond with a payment status, type and requests for more information, including bank account details, if needed.
People who haven’t been required to file a tax return for 2018 and 2019 will likely have to enter additional information online.
If the IRS does not have an individual’s bank information on file and does not receive it by this deadline, they are likely to see further delays in receiving the funds, until the government has posted out checks in the mail.
This is a particular problem for the 8.4 million ‘unbanked’ households who also typically fall into low-income brackets.
People who filed their 2019 taxes later – in line with the government extension until July 2019 for filing returns – may also get the payment later than those who have already filed.