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Who’s not getting a stimulus check

Helpful information on why you have not received your stimulus. Calculator and Get my Payment portal below.

Millions of Americans have already received a stimulus payment but if nothing shows up in your bank account or mailbox, it might be because you’re not eligible for a stimulus check. And if you do get a check, you might have to send it back to the IRS.

When we first started hearing about stimulus checks, some people may have gotten the impression that everyone was entitled to one. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. There are a few reasons why you won’t get, or can’t keep, a stimulus check. It could be because of your income, age, immigration status, or some other disqualifying factor. Here’s a list of people who either won’t get a stimulus check or will have to return any payment they receive. (If you are eligible for a payment, there’s an easy way to check the status of your payment.)


Stimulus checks start at $1,200 per eligible person ($2,400 for married couples who file a joint tax return). If you have children who qualify for the child tax credit (basically, kids 16 years old or younger), there’ll be an extra $500 tacked on for each child. So, for example, a married couple with two children can get up to $3,400. (Use our Stimulus Check Calculator to figure out how much you can get.)

However, stimulus payments are gradually phased-out for people at certain income levels (based on your 2018 or 2019 tax return, whichever one you filed most recently). If your income is high enough, your check will be completely phased out and you’ll get nothing! For single people, that happens if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is above $99,000. If you’re married and file a joint tax return, you’ll get nothing if your AGI exceeds $198,000. If you claim the head-of-household filing status on your tax return, your payment will be reduced to zero if your AGI tops $136,500.


If you can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return (whether or not you’re actually claimed as a dependent), you won’t receive a stimulus check. That means no payments to children living at home who are 17 or 18 years old, or to college students who are 23 or younger at the end of the year who don’t pay at least half of their own expenses.

Other dependents won’t receive stimulus payments, either. For example, an elderly parent living with an adult child is out of luck and won’t get a check.

Dead People

If you receive a stimulus payment for someone who is no longer alive, you’re supposed to return it to the IRS. The entire payment should be returned, unless it was made payable to joint filers and one spouse is still alive. In that case, you only need to return the portion of the payment made on account of the deceased person. This amount will be $1,200, unless your joint adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.

If you receive a paper check for a deceased person, how you return the payment depends on whether you already cashed the check. If the deceased person’s payment was directly deposited into a bank account, then follow the procedures for paper checks that were cashed. For details on the procedures, see What to Do If You Get a Stimulus Check for a Dead Person.

People Without a Social Security Number

Generally, you must have a Social Security number to get a stimulus check. There are, however, two exceptions to this rule. First, an adopted child can have an adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN) instead of a Social Security number. Second, for married members of the U.S. armed forces, only one spouse needs to have a Social Security number.

To get the extra $500 for a qualifying child, your son or daughter must also have a Social Security number. If they don’t, then you won’t get the addition amount.

People Who the IRS Doesn’t Know About

The IRS is automatically sending payments to people who filed a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return. People who receive Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or veterans benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, will receive stimulus checks automatically, too. However, if the IRS can’t get the information it needs from your tax records, or from the Social Security Administration, Railroad Retirement Board, or Veterans Administration, then it can’t send you a check. Fortunately, there’s a way around this if you want a check now. But it requires some action on your part.

For people who don’t file a tax return or receive federal government benefits, go to the IRS’s web-based portal for non-filers and provide the IRS with the information it needs to cut you a stimulus check. It’s a pretty easy process, and you can even provide your bank account information if you want to have your payment deposited directly into your account. People who aren’t required to file a tax return can also submit a “simplified” tax return, which will trigger a stimulus check. (For more information, see How to Get a Stimulus Check if You Don’t File a Tax Return).

However, even if you don’t get a check now, you won’t lose out on the money if you’re eligible for a payment–you’ll just have to wait until next year to get it. You can claim the proper amount as a tax credit next year if you file a 2020 tax return by April 15, 2021.

Nonresident Aliens

A person who is a nonresident alien in 2020 is not eligible for a stimulus check. If a nonresident alien receives a payment, he or she should return it to the IRS immediately. Generally, a “nonresident alien” is not a U.S. citizen, doesn’t have a green card, and is not physically present in the U.S. for the required amount of time.

In addition to nonresident aliens who file Form 1040-NR or 1040NR-EZ for 2019, residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico who are not required to file a U.S. income tax return, but who file Form 1040-SS or 1040-PR to pay tax on self-employment income, will not get a stimulus payment, either.

See IRS Publication 519 for more information on the taxes for nonresident aliens.

People Who Owe Child Support

Stimulus money is generally not subject to reduction or offset to pay back taxes or other debts owed to the federal or a state government. However, if you owe child support, the IRS can use stimulus check money to pay arrears. If your child support debt is greater than your stimulus check amount, you could end up missing out on a stimulus payment entirely.

Incarcerated People

If a person in jail or prison gets a stimulus check, they’re supposed to return it to the IRS immediately. As with payments to dead people, the entire payment should be returned unless it was made payable to joint filers and only one spouse is incarcerated. In that case, only the portion of the payment for the prisoner needs to be returned.

Actually, the list of people who don’t get a stimulus check (or need to return one) because they broke the law includes more than just current prison inmates. The full list also includes people who are:

  • Incarcerated in jail or a prison after being convicted of a crime;
  • Held in a mental health facility following a verdict or finding of guilty but insane, not guilty by reason of insanity, or incompetent to stand trial;
  • Determined to be a sexually dangerous person or sexual predator and confined to a halfway house or other similar facility;
  • Fleeing to avoid prosecution or prison time for a felony; and
  • In violation of probation or parole.

SEE ALSO: Where’s My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS’s “Get My Payment” Portal to Find Out

TOOL: Stimulus Check Calculator

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34 thoughts on “Who’s not getting a stimulus check

  1. some elderly citazens receive below poverty level ss payments and have no other choice but to live with an adult child. The dependent deduction allowed for this parent is about $200 year Where is a dependent child it is upward d of $2000 . A parent living with an adult child is Not receiving stimulus check is Not right. I with my adult children have lost a job and collecting UEI paym

  2. My wife and I filed jointly for the 2018 tax and our total AGI between us was $139979. We have not filed for 2019 since we have until July 15. We made quarterly estimated tax payments to reduce the amount of final tax owed to $95 overpaid on the 2018 return. On the Get My Payment page it asks for the AGI on our joint 1040 page 2 line 7 which is the above number 139979. When one of us enters the AGI as you have requested it does not appear to recognize that we have filed jointly and we thus are below the maximum AGI allowed of $198,000. We keep getting an error message “The information you have entered does not match our records. Please try again.” which we have done repeatedly.

    Please advise and reply

    Thanks very much


  3. So because I have made mistakes in the past and have been incarcerated I will not receive a stimulus check even though Ive been working and I continue to pay taxes…does that make any sense at all?

  4. What if a SSI recipients lives in the northern marianas island….will he get a stimulus check?

  5. I haven’t received a stimulus check yet because the acct I had when filing my 2019 return was closed so they’re supposed to send a check to my address on file, well I discovered my tax preparer put the wrong address on my return so I then had to fill out a 8822 change of address form so my question is how long will it take to get my check now?

  6. I am 71 I receive SS retirement which is not a lot.i live alone my daughter put my ssn on her taxes this year she only got $50 credit not a dependent allowance since I am on limited income, why am I not going to receive stimulus???

    1. What about the government talking about helping people that work last year and year before that? Living expenses for 2020:! Is the life responseblty to survive now!

  7. Wy are thay still keeping are check for child support wen the govener put an order out for them not to touch our check and wen their is a court order for them not to touch our checks but yet thay still keep them sounds like their violating a court order to me and an executive order oh ya I forgot their the government their above the law rite that’s what it looks like to me I thout that half to obay the laws just like the people ya rite thay never Doo always overlooked because their the gov thay should be held responsible just like the people are but thay never are held responsible go figure

  8. Does they death of my husband who passed Sept 12 2019 have anything to do with me getting -information doesn’t match. When I go to get my payment it says I am entitled to a stimulus check. However when I fill in the question asked and put in my direct deposit which is on our 2019 tax es which had been processed-because I owed the federal 26 dollars and the money was taken out of my direct deposit. Total gross was 136230. I can’t get any answers. Please help filled jointly. Be being the surviving wife

  9. I get ssi/ssdi my wife claimed me on her 2018 taxes but separate and I live elsewhere but she did not claim me on her 2019 taxes due to separated will I receive a stimulus check

  10. I’m 61 on SSI disability and Iam still waiting I read we dont have to do anything its automatic I have direct deposit WHERES MY CHECK I’m about to loose my belongings and my social disability check paid my rent and a few Bill’s I’m trying to be patient but it’s getting real hard I need that money badly

  11. I’m on SSI so I didn’t receive stimulus check by direct deposit at my bank so i need to know what’s damn going on?

  12. On SSI and I get mine on the 1st of each month. Have NOT received any stimulus payment. What’s going on?

  13. I am on SSI and SSDI and still waiting for my check to be in my bank or mail box. They should first get the 1st check done before handing out the 2nd round. I am just trying to make sure I have all my bills paid.

    1. I pay my bills with my Social Security every month. Stimulus check will help will help me out but don’t depend on it to pay my bills. I understand people who are not getting to work complaining if they dont get a check. I haven’t gotten a check but it will be good when and if I do. Thank you President Trump.

  14. I have d direct express debit card thru SS n also received my 1099 cuz I’m disabled n I have rep payee. I’ve been on disability 4 13 yrs. So y d IRS claim they dnt have enough info on me. But they r double paying sum ppl n also sending 💰 2 dead n jailed ppl. Itz a sad situation going on wit d whole governmental body.

  15. I receive SSI n SSID n I have a payee I also get a 1099 every year my payments come on the Direct Express debit card n I haven’t got any money. I think it’s a shame 4 d government 2 give a person 2 checks n send dead ppl 💰 n 4get bout d disabled.

  16. Where is my stimulus check? I receive SSDI & SS has my banking account information. The IRS web portal has never been a helpful tool for me. I am continually getting the “payment status not available” response.

  17. Do I get a check I got out of prison may5 2019 I started receiving my ssi benefits right away as also I received benefits in 2018 before I was incarcerated if nobody knows for sure is there a way to find out thanks

  18. Today is may 13 I’ve not received a check. No one has claimed me as a dependent. Where’s my check

  19. I get Social Security but not a whole lot and my rent is almost $700 a month I don’t have much to live on and my check goes on my Direct Express credit card so would my stimulus check go on their teeth and one of my sons just told me he carried me on his taxes what I did not know that I said how come you could me on your taxes as that I aint live with you so I’m just wondering if he didn’t get my stimulus check it’d be pretty damn dirty if you did I’m 74 years old and very sick and I need my stimulus check there’s test that I need to have done I need to have a colonoscopy and a bunch of other tests and I don’t have the money for it please send me a check so I can maybe live a little bit longer

  20. Hello, I used the non-filers but I believe I accidentally checked the box saying that someone could claim me on their taxes but that is not the case. No one is allowed to claim me. How can I fix this? Please tell me it can be fixed!

  21. I receive social security disability benefits I was carried on my nephew taxes what I don’t get is why children 17 and under and their parents get the payment but I a disabled adult in my on home don’t qualify for a stimulus check. DON’T MAKE ANY SENSE!!!.

  22. I get S.S and I help my daughter and she claims me on her taxes so I don’t get a check and I am paying my own way I am not her responsible I have dr bill that I can’t see the dr cause I owe them money til I pay them I willingly be able to visit them but that’s not helping me that out of pocket for Special is a lots when you have 3 or 4 to see a month and that’s not cheap and if you don’t have the money you want be seen please help me

  23. My husband n I never received a stimulus check n not sure why. I am on disability n he works but we don’t make much over $100,000 a year together. Why haven’t we received a check n it’s May 27, 2020.

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