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Stimulus checks have yet to reach some people across Indiana


PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 18: In this photo illustration U.S. Treasury checks are piled at the U.S. Treasury printing facility July 18, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. President Obama recently stated that he can’t guarantee retirees will receive their Social Security checks in August if the House and Senate can not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit. (Photo Illustration by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The CBS4 Problem Solvers received dozens of calls over the past two weeks from people who still haven’t received their stimulus payments.

Brenda Strout is among those wondering if and when she’ll get her payment. Strout, who is fighting cancer, relies on social security disability benefits and should be eligible.

“Most people that I know have (received) them. My daughter, she’s on (social security) and she got hers,” Strout said.

James Rieken has been out of work due to COVID-19 and hoped the stimulus money could help his family pay for bills that are stacking up. He filed taxes this year, so he doesn’t understand why his payment didn’t come through direct deposit.

“We check everything every day. I check my old Turbo Tax card from last year and there (isn’t anything) on it,” Rieken said. “I downloaded that app through the post office so I can track mail and I don’t see (anything) coming.”

Rieken and Strout both described issues using the IRS’ ‘Get My Payment’ tool, which updates daily and still does not have every American’s information available.

“I put my name, everything in, my social security number, my address and then it just says no information,” Rieken said.

Indiana University clinical professor of accounting Greg Giesler has been closely following stimulus payments and said that for people like Strout and Rieken, unfortunately waiting may be the only option.

“It’s incredibly difficult for people who have not received their stimulus check and were expecting it, the whole idea of this was to help people quickly,” Giesler said.

Giesler said one of the biggest frustrations has been the inability to contact the IRS, which just opened phone lines for the first time this week.

“They’re hoping that they can get all these paper checks out by the end of June, but realistically other articles I’ve read suggest if they get it done by Labor Day that would be good,” Giesler said.

The CBS4 Problem Solvers spoke to an IRS spokesperson, who said that nearly half of the 10 million people nationwide still waiting on payments should receive pre-paid debit cards in the mail soon, rather than checks, in order to get the money out more quickly. The spokesperson acknowledged that not everyone’s information is in the ‘Get My Payment’ tool and people should continue checking it every day.

For those still waiting, the longer they go without payment, the more concerned they become that their check will arrive.

I’d like to find out if I was getting one,” Strout said. “That would help a lot.”

“I read so much stuff, (saying) if you don’t get it you can file it on your taxes next year. I don’t need it next year, I need it now,” Rieken said.

You can also access a detailed list of frequently asked questions from the IRS at the link here.

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