What ‘Payment Status Not Available’ Means for Your $1,400 Stimulus Check

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This post refers to stimulus checks issued in March 2021. For the most up-to-date info, check out our recent tax articles.

The IRS Get My Payment site for tracking the third round of stimulus payments went live over the weekend. For a lot of users, the site simply confirmed that their stimulus checks will arrive March 17.

But perhaps you’re one of the not-so-lucky people who have experienced problems with the feature. Maybe the site has crashed on you. Or it’s logged you out for visiting more than one time in 24 hours. Or, perhaps most perplexing of all, it’s greeted you with these words:

Payment status not available.

Let’s decode what those three words could mean.

Payment Status Not Available? 3 Possible Explanations

Here are three possible reasons you’re seeing “payment status not available” when you check on your stimulus money.

1. You Aren’t Eligible for a Payment

If your income is above $75,000 if you’re single, $112,500 if you file as head of household or $150,000 if you’re married, your payment is reduced for every dollar you earn above these limits. Once your income reaches $80,000 if you’re single, $120,000 if you’re a head of household or $160,000 if you’re married filing jointly, you’re not eligible for a payment.

Other reasons you may not qualify: Someone else claimed you as a dependent on their tax return, or you don’t have a Social Security number.

To read more about the requirements, check out our $1,400 stimulus checks FAQ.

2. You’re Required to Submit a Tax Return but Didn’t in 2019 or 2020

The IRS is using data from 2020 tax returns for people who have already filed, or 2019 returns for those who haven’t. If you didn’t file in 2019 and only recently filed in 2020, you could be receiving the “status not available” message because the IRS hasn’t processed your return yet.

Note that if you receive Social Security, SSI, SSDI, Railroad Retirement System or VA benefits, you don’t need to file a return to get your payment.

3. Your Payment Hasn’t Been Processed Yet

Although the IRS has scheduled tens of millions of payments, it’s possible that you’re getting the message because yours wasn’t one of them. Additional batches of checks will be sent out in the weeks to come.

The only thing you can do is check back daily — but only once a day, the IRS warns. Information is only updated once each day, so you won’t get any new information by checking frequently.

Plus, if you enter information that doesn’t match what the IRS has in its system multiple times, you could be locked out of Get My Payment for 24 hours.

Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. She writes the Dear Penny personal finance advice column. Send your tricky money questions to [email protected].