For many Americans, the federal government’s stimulus website has remained a source of frustration as they are unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic and their bank accounts become depleted, according to CNBC.
The website launched April 15 purporting to update people as to the status of their stimulus payments. But for a lot of people, attempts to even use the site have been futile.
Those who haven’t received their stimulus payments could still see them soon, as disbursements are still being processed overall, including $1,200 per individual or $2,400 per couple, and $500 per child.
But citizens’ attempts to check on those statuses, or even to add bank account information to make the payments come faster, have not always been successful. Many people have instead received frustrating messages of “Payment status not available.” Others, using the IRS’s Get My Payment tool on its site, have seen messages like “Unable to determine eligibility,” in cases where direct deposit information is unavailable.
Other notifications could say that one has been deemed eligible, but that the payment status is still unknown.
The intricacy of many people’s situations has left them without answers. One 73-year-old Connecticut resident is wondering if she’s eligible for payment based on her 2018 or 2019 tax returns after being laid off from a nonprofit. A Wisconsin family is waiting on both the stimulus checks and unemployment payments, having received neither thus far, only met with totally failed attempts to access the stimulus website.
Janet Holtzblatt, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said the clunky rollout is easily explained by the haste with which it had to be put together after the rapid ascent of the virus in March. Holtzblatt said the IRS “didn’t have much time” to ensure that everything worked correctly due to the immediacy of the myriad problems the virus caused.
The rapid-fire fallout from the virus caused governmental and official bodies to take quick action, and the mass demand for aid has only seen troubles compounding on one another as websites crash due to overwhelming use.