STIMULUS MONEY:

WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT IN 2021

If you’ve ever checked your mailbox repeatedly for a stimulus check, or you’re still waiting for some financial help to arrive in 2021--you are not alone.

The stress of trying to stretch a paycheck to cover everything that you and your family need--especially during a global pandemic--can be completely overwhelming. On top of that, many of our clients express fear and panic when trying to figure out how they’ll pay for all the extra expenses that inevitably come along with an unexpected personal injury or car accident. The relief that comes from finding even a modest amount of extra income can feel like a tidal wave of emotion, and waiting for it can be grueling.

 

While most Americans were promised that relief before the end of 2020, over 30 percent of us are still waiting to receive at least one of our stimulus checks. Below are some tips on what to do if you have not received one or both of your payments, as well as the latest news surrounding a possible third payment to needful Americans sometime this spring.

Things to know if you’re looking for stimulus money relief:

You can check the status of your payment on the IRS website.

The IRS is asking people to use their “Get My Payment” tool to check the status of their stimulus funds. There are a couple of different messages you could receive once you input your information (social security number, date of birth, and address, to be exact). When using this tool, make sure to input your address as it appeared on your last tax return, even if you’ve moved since then.

 

Also, if you filed jointly with a spouse on your last tax return, then your spouse’s bank account may be where your payment was deposited, even if you’ve officially divorced since you filed. Closed bank accounts or old street addresses that the IRS previously had on file for you can also be a reason that your funds were misplaced.

 

If this tool gives you a message saying “Payment Status #2--Not Available,” then you will most likely not be receiving a payment via direct deposit, nor should you expect a check in the mail. Instead, read tip #2 below.

 

If your payment was already sent out by the IRS, this tool will generate the last four digits of the account number in which the IRS direct deposited your money, or the address on file where the check was sent.

You should plan on filing a tax return between now and  April 15, 2021 in order to receive any missing funds.

If you still haven’t received one or both of your payments by now, check out this quote from the IRS website regarding stimulus payments (referred to as Economic Impact Payments, or EIPs):

Since the IRS tracks all transactions by social security number, they are supposed to be able to determine if money that was owed to you was never actually received by you. By claiming your missing money as a credit on your tax return, you are officially asking the IRS to adjust the final amount owed or paid at the end of tax season.

 

Even if you owe money on your regular tax return this year, then by successfully claiming the credit, you would owe less. If you should be receiving money as a tax refund this year, then claiming the credit could help you receive even more.

 

If you still don’t get the financial credit you believe is owed to you by the IRS, you can also file a 3911 form. There are lots of great resources online about how to file this form and trace a stimulus payment.

The IRS advises people that if they don't receive their Economic Impact Payment, they should file their 2020 tax return electronically and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on their tax return to get their payment and any refund as quickly as possible.

Under President Biden, we now can look forward to a third stimulus payment of $1,400 sometime this week.

President Biden on Thursday signed into law a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill. This measure includes direct payments of up to $1,400 for individuals, including for each qualified dependent, billions to help schools and colleges reopen, and funding for vaccine distribution - along with many other measures aimed at helping struggling Americans and American businesses recover.

 

The President was attempting to move as quickly as possible by having this bill passed by the legislature and signed into law. The plan is to see the direct deposits hitting the bank accounts of hard-working Americans this coming weekend. While this stimulus payment comes at a prime time for many Americans, this money may quickly be gone to past due bills, upcoming rent payments, and other expenses.

Remember to prioritize your most valuable investment: your health.

Constantly living in a state of uncertainty is a traumatic experience for any person, and it can make dealing with an unexpected event feel impossible. Force yourself to take at least a moment each day to check in with your own thoughts and self-talk. Ask yourself how you are feeling, when it began, and whether or not its cause is within your personal control. Use a notes app, or free journaling app such as Daybook, to help you track and express your answers to these questions.

 

Do a simple 5-minute floor exercise to start your day, or incorporate it into a longer morning routine during which you read aloud your list of goals and affirmations. Writing them in the present tense (“I am healthy, strong and making enough money to live comfortably”) can do wonders for your mindset. Keeping your space clean can also help you feel more at peace with whatever you cannot control.

 

The Tatum Legal Group stands head and shoulders above most personal injury law firms because we never lose sight of the difference between our clients and their cases. While representing a case requires relentless attention to facts, laws and details, representing our clients as people is our most brag-worthy accomplishment. We treat our clients like who they are--incredible human beings who deserve compassion, protection, and support when life is testing them the most.