What to do if you’re missing a stimulus check

Most Nebraskans have already received (and spent!) their stimulus checks, but not everyone who is eligible has received the money they are owed from the government. 

For those people, this year may be even more difficult than it has been for most of us. The good news is, there are steps that can be taken if you (or someone you know) didn’t get a stimulus check or did not get the entire amount of the stimulus check that they should have. 

First,  confirm your eligibility for the check(s) that you did not receive.  If someone else claimed you as a dependent on their 2020 taxes, you are ineligible to receive any of the stimulus payments.  Eligibility for each check is listed below: 

 

1st stimulus 2nd stimulus 3rd stimulus
Date
Issued
 Spring 2020 December 2020 – January 2021 Spring 2021
Amount $1200 for taxpayer(s) and $500 for qualifyng dependents $600 for taxpayer(s) and $600 for qualifying dependents $1400 for taxpayers(s) and $1400 for qualifying dependents
What Dependent(s) Qualify? Dependents 17 and under Dependents 17 and under Any dependent listed on the taxpayer’s tax return

How to make sure your stimulus payment ends up in the right hands

Next, if you meet the eligibility requirements and were not claimed as anyone else’s dependent in 2020, the next step is to check the Internal Revenue Services’ stimulus tracker tool: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment

This tool will let you know whether your stimulus payment has been issued, mailed, etc.

 Unfortunately, it only works for the most recent stimulus payment, so if you are missing more than one payment, you will not be able to track any of the other payments this way. 

“The good news is, there are steps that can be taken if you (or someone you know) didn’t get a stimulus check or did not get the entire amount of the stimulus check that they should have.”

If you’re missing one of the first two payments ($1,200 issued in spring 2020, or the $600 issued in December 2020 or January 2021), you can claim the missing amount on your 2020 tax filing. 

Claiming this missing amount is called a “recovery rebate credit” (RRC) and will be listed on line 30 of your 1040 form.  Although the tax filing deadline has passed, you can still file your taxes and claim the RRC.

Need additional help? 

If you are missing a payment and need help filing your taxes, there are free resources that can help:

Shailana Dunn-Wall (she/her/hers), Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellow and Fellowship Staff Attorney at Legal Aid of Nebraska, is the author of this article.

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