Millions of Americans won’t have to do anything to receive their third stimulus check. It will either automatically be mailed to them or deposited directly into their bank accounts.
But homeless Americans who don’t have a fixed address or bank accounts will have to jump through an array of hoops to claim theirs.
Hamdia Ahmed, a model and advocate, drew attention to the hurdles homeless people face to claim their stimulus checks in a tweet that was shared over 130,000 times since she posted it on Monday.“
If you are homeless, you can go to a tax return office where they will file something called EIP return. They will put the money on a debit card after,” she said in her tweet.
What if you missed the Nov. 21 deadline?
Some 9 million non-tax-filing Americans did not claim their checks six months after the 2020 CARES Act, which called for $1,200 stimulus checks, according to the IRS.
Americans who missed the deadline could still claim all three stimulus checks by electronically filing a 2020 tax return. That will enable them to receive the stimulus-check money they’re owed through a “Recovery Rebate Credit”.
Some 9 million non-tax-filing Americans did not claim their checks six months after the CARES Act
Americans who earned less than $12,200 last year or $24,400, if they are married, won’t have to pay any taxes. But they will need to enter their personal identifying information, such as their Social Security number, through the IRS’ Free File Program, where tax software companies prepare returns free of charge for people who make up to $72,000 a year.
Americans can access this program on a cellphone or computer. Additionally, people experiencing homelessness can get in-person tax help by visiting their nearest IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. You can locate a provider here.
Americans who were eligible for stimulus money, but missed out on some or all of the payment can also get funds they are owed using the same programs if they qualify.
This group could include households with a new baby in 2020, people who earned less in 2020 than they did in 2019 and young adults who are filing their taxes for the first time.
If you don’t have a permanent address, you can arrange to have your stimulus money sent to a local post office, homeless shelter or religious place of worship.
If you do not have a bank account and don’t wish to open one, the IRS can mail you an Economic Impact Payment Card, which functions like a debit card.
If you don’t have a permanent address, you can arrange to have your stimulus money sent to a local post office, homeless shelter or religious place of worship. You can also contact United Way’s 211 Economic Impact Payment Helpline by calling (844)-322-3639 for assistance.
Sen. Tina Smith (D., Minn.) in a letter signed by 28 Democratic senators in February, urged Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to “commit to conducting outreach to all populations to make sure [homless people] are aware of their potential eligibility and can sign up for and receive the payment.”
The letter came shortly after the $900 billion stimulus package that authorized $600 stimulus payments passed in late December.
But it’s not quite that simple.The IRS did not respond to MarketWatch’s request for a comment.
Homeless Americans who used the non-filer tool to get their first stimulus check should have automatically received their second $600 stimulus check and will receive their third in the same manner.