COVID-19

Millions of people may still be eligible to receive one-time pandemic relief checks

Justin Ho Nov 9, 2020
Heard on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
People who didn't receive a COVID-19 relief check could still get one. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
COVID-19

Millions of people may still be eligible to receive one-time pandemic relief checks

Justin Ho Nov 9, 2020
Heard on:
People who didn't receive a COVID-19 relief check could still get one. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The IRS is designating Nov. 10 as a national registration day for Economic Impact Payments. Those are the one-time pandemic relief checks the government has been sending out since April.

Some people still haven’t received those checks, because the IRS doesn’t have their payment information.

The IRS has been using tax return data to automatically send individuals their $1,200 relief checks. But people with little or no income aren’t required to file tax returns.

“Part of the concern is just simply the government not necessarily having the records of every person who’s entitled to get a payment,” said Leandra Lederman, professor of tax law at Indiana University.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that roughly 12 million people in the U.S. aren’t eligible to receive their payments automatically.

But Kris Cox, the group’s senior tax policy analyst, said it’s vital that those people know they’re still entitled to relief aid.

“Getting money into the hands of very low-income people is one of the highest bang-for-the-buck policies you can have during a recession,” Cox said.

The IRS says it’s sent letters to nearly 9 million so-called “non-filers,” urging them to register so they can receive their checks. The deadline to do that is Nov. 21.

You can sign up to receive an Economic Impact Payment here. The deadline is Nov. 21, 2020.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.