‘Status Not Available’: As Stimulus Site Goes Live, IRS Asks For Patience

By Brian Carlton

March 15, 2021

Even though the site’s live now, it might take several days before you can check the status of your stimulus check.

WASHINGTON — There’s nothing wrong with your economic stimulus check. Internal Revenue Service officials want to make that clear. But it might take a day or two for everyone’s information to be loaded to the official website. 

When the official “Get My Payment” site went live Sunday morning, there was a bit of panic. Some people typed in their information and got a specific date when the check would be deposited. Others, however, got an update saying “payment status not available.” And because we all tend to think the worst, that set off furious responses both on social media to the IRS and in email.

But to be clear, there’s nothing wrong. No, there’s not a problem with the system. No, if you got that message, it doesn’t automatically mean you won’t get a stimulus check. All it means is something Pennsylvanians should be familiar with at this point: IRS officials are still entering data into the system. 

Why is the Status Showing Up? 

If you see the “Payment Status Not Available” when you log in, one of three things happened. First, as we mentioned, your information just might not be entered yet. IRS officials said in a Sunday statement that all information should be loaded within the week. If you got that notification when logging in, just try it again another day.

If that’s not the problem, then we go to Option #2. Simply put, the IRS might not know where to send the check. The first round of checks goes out to anyone who used direct deposit on their latest tax return. It also goes out automatically to people who receive Social Security, survivor or disability benefits, as well as Veterans Affairs benefits. 

If you haven’t filed this year’s tax return yet, that’s no problem. They’ll just use the latest one on file. But if you didn’t sign up for direct deposit, that means a check will go out in the mail. To do that, they first have to verify your mailing address. In some cases, that hasn’t happened yet, so you get the “not available” status. 

Who Doesn’t Qualify for a Stimulus Check? 

But if those two aren’t the problem, there’s Option #3. You don’t qualify for this round. 

“The IRS reminds taxpayers that the income levels in this new round of stimulus payments have changed,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement. “This means that some people won’t be eligible for the third payment even if they received a first or second Economic Impact Payment or claimed a 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit.”  

This round of stimulus payments includes up to $1,400 for individuals and $2,800 for a couple. But as Rettig said, the requirements to be eligible for this one were changed. 

“Payments will begin to be reduced for individuals making $75,000 or above,” Rettig said. Now that’s $75,000 in adjusted gross income. If a married couple is filing jointly, the stimulus is reduced for those making $150,000. “The reduced payments end at $80,000 for individuals (and $160,000 for married couples); people above these levels are ineligible for a payment.” 

Simply put, if you make more than $80,000 as an individual or $160,000 as a married couple, you will not get a check this time around.

If you want to update any of your information but aren’t sure how to do it, the IRS set up an FAQ page to help.


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