Ask an Expert episode 2 follow-up: Your Questions About the Second Stimulus Bill, Answered

Earlier this month, we hosted a Facebook Live featuring our resident public policy expert, Radha Seshagiri, and moderator/marketing intern, Morgan Alford. Here are the questions Radha answered, as well as some helpful resources.

1. Am I eligible to get a stimulus check?

  • Here’s how to check your eligibility
  • You must:
    1. Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident 
    2. Have a valid SSN (only one person in the family has to have an SSN)
    3. Not be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return
    4. Note that your 2018 or 2019 income is under $75,000 (single, or married filing separately) or $150,000 (married filing jointly) for the full amount
    5. Know that you can also qualify if you have no income

2. What do I do if I still haven’t received the second stimulus check?

  • Here’s what to know about the timing of the second stimulus payment
  • You should have received a stimulus payment by now. The payment will have already arrived via direct deposit or in the mail as check or debit card
  • Don’t worry if you haven’t received it yet. Millions of eligible people still haven’t received one, due to errors made by the IRS

3. The IRS says my check was sent on January 6 but I’ve not received it. Is there a way to track it?

  • Check your payment status on the official IRS website or call the IRS toll-free at (800) 919-9835
  • Double check with your bank to see if you’ve received a deposit

4. How can I get my second stimulus check without filing my taxes?

  • You need to file your taxes if you haven’t received your check and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit
  • Even if you don’t normally file taxes—either because you’re on SSI or SSDI or you’re retired or you don’t meet the IRS’ income threshold—it is a good idea to file your taxes this year  to claim any missing stimulus money
  • Haven’t filed your taxes yet? Consider using Free File from the IRS
  • Double check your bank account; the IRS may have made a direct deposit into your account 
  • You can still receive payment! The IRS made a lot of mistakes. Just make sure you file your taxes correctly to get the right amount and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit
    1. The IRS has a trusted program, Free File, that allows people to file their taxes for free
  • Note that in order for your children to be eligible, they need to be under 17 years old and not have earned more than $4200

6. I owe child support. Does that mean I won’t get the stimulus?

7. How will this affect my taxes? If we received both stimulus checks, do we claim them on 2021 taxes?

  • The second (and first) stimulus check is a credit — not taxable income. You will not owe taxes on the stimulus payments 
  • However, you might owe taxes on any unemployment income you received
  • You may also be eligible for additional funds through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • This year, there is a special rule (called the “lookback rule”)  in place that allows you to get the most EITC that you can. When filing your taxes this year, you can use either your 2020 or 2019 income—whichever will give you the most money back in your tax refund. Talk to a tax preparer about this option, and keep your 2019 records available 
  • Note: The IRS will start processing tax returns February 12 and the deadline to file your taxes is April 15

8. I made a mistake on my taxes and I need help to fix it. What do I do?

  • The IRS knows that mistakes happen
  • Check the IRS website for more information on correcting your taxes, or talk to a free tax preparer for more help

9. “My husband is a retired disabled Vet, we haven’t received the second stimulus, we received the first one without filling out any form. Do we need to file for 2020?”

  • Even if you don’t normally file taxes for whatever reason, you need to file this year to claim any missing stimulus money through the Recovery Rebate Credit

10. Is there going to be another check for $1400?

  • The government is still talking about this and while there will probably be an additional check, we don’t know exactly how much, or when it will be sent
  • If you need additional support during this time, with paying bills or utilities, here’s a list of helpful resources

11. Someone stole my identity. How do I get my stimulus check?

  • We’re so sorry to hear your identity has been stolen
  • Visit IDENTITYTHEFT.GOV to make a plan to recover your identity and receive your payment
    1. Remember to be careful with your personal information 
    2. Don’t give away any personal info online
    3. Don’t give away your money to debt collectors

12. How does the stimulus impact my student loans?

  • Your student loan debt, both interest and payments, is on pause through September 30, 2021. There may be additional resources in your state, depending on where you live 
  • If you need additional help with student loan repayment, talk with your student loan servicer about options, including switching to an income-driven repayment plan
  • Also, check out the three ways your student loans can be forgiven

13. Is there anything that can help me with my rent if I’m facing eviction?

14. If we didn’t apply for EIDL the first time, will we have an opportunity to do so?

15. If my family member is in jail, can they receive a stimulus check?

  • Yes, they can. They need to file their tax return if they haven’t received it yet

Want to stay connected so you can attend our next FREE Ask an Expert session? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@SaverLifeOrg). And if a Facebook Live doesn’t work for you, we’ve got you covered. Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can watch our recaps on your own time. 

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