35 Million Stimulus Checks Are Still Outstanding

The U.S. government has sent out 159 million stimulus checks to qualifying Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic. Still, officials have not yet distributed an estimated 30 to 35 million payments, according to new data from the House Ways and Means Committee. The economic impact payments, which were authorized by Congress with the CARES Act in March, provide up to $1,200 per individual or $2,400 per married couple, as well as $500 per child under 17 to families in a certain income bracket.

The U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service initially estimated there would be 171 million total payments, which the House Ways and Means Committee now says "seems low," considering the data on the groups eligible for the payments. Now, the committee estimates there are between 30 million to 35 million payments that the IRS still has to distribute.

Included in that group of people who have yet to receive payment are the 13 to 18 million people who filed tax returns and who are within the income boundaries outlined in the CARES Act, as well as 7.5 million Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefit recipients who do not file tax returns and millions of people who receive Supplemental Security Income or Veterans Administration benefits and are not required to file tax returns. The IRS is still working on processing 4.7 million paper tax returns as well, some of which could be from first-time filers who also qualify for the stimulus check, the Ways and Means Committee noted.

The Treasury Department says it should have information on these people, and simply requires more time to distribute the funding. The one group still waiting on payments that the Treasury Department does not have information about includes the almost 11 million people who do not file tax returns and do not receive federal government benefits.

If you are a member of that group of non-filers who has yet to receive your stimulus check, you are required to use the IRS' non-filer portal to enter the personal information necessary to receive their money. The deadline to enter your information in order to receive the stimulus money this year is Oct. 15. If you do file your taxes and have yet to receive your stimulus check, the IRS has a hotline at 800-919-9835, at which you can request more information on your status. If you miss the deadlines, you will receive the money when you file your 2020 tax return next year.