Stimulus check: How to claim your payment before November deadline

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Some Americans still have outstanding payments from the first round of stimulus checks issued in the spring, and the deadline to claim those funds — Nov. 21 — is fast approaching.  

While there's unlikely to be any forward progress on stimulus check 2 in the immediate future, the IRS is still sending out $1,200 checks and $500 dependent supplements to people who haven't received their benefits from the initial round. 

Nearly 9 million people, many of whom don't file taxes, did not receive the $1,200 stimulus check provided by the CARES Act passed back in March. 

These non-filers are likely older Americans who live on savings, or heads of low-income households. People who live on federal benefits, including Social Security, Railroad Retirement and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, may also qualify.

The IRS in September began notifying eligible individuals and later extended the deadline for claiming payments from Oct. 15 to Nov. 21. 

Likewise, some parents did not receive their $500 supplement for their dependent children — again, in most cases because these individuals did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. The deadline to claim these benefits is also Nov. 21.

How to claim your missing stimulus payment

While the IRS plans to send letters to remind qualifying individuals, you can still use the non-filers tool on to check your eligibility if you think you missed a payment. 

You'll need the following information to complete your request: 

  • Your name, mailing address and email address
  • Date of birth and Social Security number
  • Bank account information
  • Taxpayer PIN
  • Driver's license or state ID
  • Children's names, SSNs or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Numbers if claiming dependents

If you're eligible for an outstanding payment, complete your request by Nov. 21. If you don't enter bank-account information so that you can receive a direct deposit, then you'll be mailed a paper check instead. 

Emily Long

Emily Long is a Utah-based freelance writer who covers consumer technology, privacy and personal finance for Tom's Guide. She has been reporting and writing for nearly 10 years, and her work has appeared in Wirecutter, Lifehacker, NBC BETTER and CN Traveler, among others. When she's not working, you can find her trail running, teaching and practicing yoga, or studying for grad school — all fueled by coffee, obviously.