Stimulus Checks: How to Set up Direct Deposit

One of the main reasons behind delays for stimulus checks in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic has been the lack of direct deposit for many Americans. The lack of direct deposit for many citizens means a physical check must be printed and mailed to the recipient of the stimulus money.

On top of that, the IRS has been using the same method they issue tax refunds to people, meaning that those who didn't file tax returns in 2019 or 2018 had to take action to receive a check. They've also instituted a deadline to add their banking information to its website, marking May 13 as the last day you can sign up for direct deposit and receive your check electronically.

So what can those citizens do? It's simple but will take a little time to approve it. But as long as your information is in the system before the deadline, you will electronically receive your payment.

Switching to electronic payments is already required by law for certain federal benefits, like Social Security payments, VA benefits and other benefits from federal positions. The Treasury Department requires an electronic payment, so they've made the system of signing up far easier.

If you head to the U.S. Treasury's official site, you have two options for direct payments. One is the Direct Express card, which works like a debit card where your refunds and payments are loaded onto them electronically. This is helpful if you don't have a bank account to share or load into the system.

Direct deposit is the other route and it involves adding the routing number and account number of your bank or credit union account to your federal profile for access to the payment. The difference between direct deposit and the Direct Express card is a few extra steps and pieces of information you'll need to sign up.

You'll want to have a copy of your most recent government check, your social security number or claim number, a 12-digit federal benefit check number, the amount of that check, your bank or credit union routing number, and the account number plus your type of account, either checking or savings.

Over half of the eligible American citizens have already received their stimulus checks, sometimes alongside their tax refunds for 2020. The bulk of those successful payments were made via direct deposit, showing just how important it can be for people relying on this money to survive.

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In addition to the treasury department site, the IRS has set up the Get My Payment site to help speed up the delivery of the electronic payment.

"We want people to visit Get My Payment before the noon Wednesday deadline so they can provide their direct deposit information," IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said. "Time is running out for a chance to get these payments several weeks earlier through direct deposit."