January 20, 2021
When could you get the next stimulus check? The IRS payment may come sooner than you think

The IRS may still owe you a $500 stimulus check. Here’s how to claim it


You can still get your missing $500 stimulus payment for child dependents.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Under the CARES Act passed in March, dependents under 17 years old count as an extra $500 toward the total amount of your stimulus check. But if the payment you received didn’t include the amount allotted to you for your child dependents, the IRS has reopened an online tool to help correct the error. 

You’ll now have until September 30, 2020 to use the IRS’ nonfilers tool and apply for a catch-up payment. If you don’t file by then, you’ll have to wait until 2021 to claim your stimulus money on behalf of your kid. The IRS notes you shouldn’t use the tool yet if you plan on filing a 2019 tax return (for example, if you filed for an Oct. 15 extension), as it will slow down the process.

Currently, there are talks regarding a second stimulus check that could pass next month, assuming Republican and Democratic leaders can come to an agreement. Here’s what to know about claiming your missing $500 stimulus payment from the first round.

If you haven’t received your stimulus check at all, here’s an IRS phone number if you need to report a lost or missing payment.

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Eligibility requirements for the stimulus payment

To qualify, the filer must be a US citizen, permanent resident or a qualifying “resident alien”. They must also have a valid social security number, can’t be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer and must have an adjusted gross income under $146,500 (heads of household) and $198,000 (married couples filing jointly).

The CARES Act stipulates a $500 allowance per child dependent in addition to the $1,200 cap for single filers and up to $2,400 for couples filing jointly. (We’ve calculated how much money you might be able to get if rules change over dependents in a second stimulus check.)

Here’s how the IRS defines a child dependent — there may be specific details you’ll want to explore if your child dependent is adopted, disabled (of any age) or a citizen of another country.

How do I file for my missing $500 dependent payment with the IRS?

To file for your missing $500 stimulus money, visit the Free File Fillable Forms site, select Get Started, create an account if you haven’t already. You’ll then follow the posted instructions for filling out the form. You’ll need to provide your full name, mailing and email address, date of birth, social security number, bank account number (if you have one), driver’s license or state ID (if you have one), each qualifying child’s social security number and their relationship to you.

When you’re finished, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Your information will then be sent to the IRS so they can work on getting a check sent out to you, assuming you’re eligible.


You can either have the check sent to you or deposited into your account.

Sarah Tew/CNET

How will I receive my extra $500 IRS payment?

You can either choose to have the check sent to you or you can set up direct deposit by providing your bank information. Generally, direct deposit is the quickest way to receive payments, especially with the USPS crisis delaying the mail.

The IRS will mail you Notice 1444 to confirm that it sent a payment of $500 per qualifying child. You’ll want to keep this letter for your records, especially since the letter may arrive at a different time than the payment.

When will I receive my payment?

The IRS says it will begin issuing checks in October for those who meet the application deadline — you won’t need to do anything else. However, if you’d like more information, you’ll be able to track the status of your IRS payment by visiting the IRS Get My Payment webpage. From there, you’ll need to provide your social security number, date of birth, home address and zip code.

For more information about stimulus payments, here’s how fast the IRS could send out a second stimulus payment and stimulus check requirements. Also, will the stimulus package be split into smaller bills? Here’s what we know.

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