If you missed the first deadline, you can still claim a $500 stimulus catch-up check for your kids


You can still file to claim your missing $500 stimulus payment for child dependents.

Angela Lang/CNET

The IRS is making a concerted push to deliver to people who are missing all or part of their first stimulus checks the money they’re entitled under the CARES Act passed seven months ago. The agency has said it will pay out checks through the end of 2020, an internal deadline that’s fast approaching. In the case of parents and families whose payments arrived missing $500 for each child dependent, that means filing a claim before the new Nov. 21 cutoff date to get the catch-up payment before 2021. This deadline extends the first Sept. 30 cutoff to file. 

The first thing you’ll want to do is use CNET’s stimulus check calculator to help you figure out if you got the correct amount — you just need to know your AGI. (Here’s how the IRS determines payment amounts.)

Also keep in mind that parents who share custody of a child dependent and either pay or receive child support could each qualify to receive $500, but you may need to claim this payment. Note that the IRS has been known to garnish a stimulus check to settle child support debts.

If you have more questions about stimulus payments, we have answers to situations both general and specific, such as where negotiations currently stand to pass a new bill that could include a second check, who might be eligible for another payment once the bill is approved, whether you could get more money with another round of checks and how priority groups determine when payments are sent. This story is regularly updated.

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How can I claim my missing $500 dependent stimulus money?

To file for your missing $500 stimulus money, visit the Free File Fillable Forms site, select Get Started and create an account if you haven’t already. 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 the child’s 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.

Read moreHere’s what’s holding up the stimulus bill

When will the IRS send my $500 catchup payment?

If you filed by Sept. 30, the IRS has said it will start issuing checks in October. The IRS has extended the deadline to Nov. 21 and if it follows in the same footsteps as the first deadline, you could receive your payment in December. However, if you miss the deadline, your check will be included on your 2020 tax return in 2021.

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.


If you get a catch-up payment, you can either get it sent to you or have it deposited in your account.

Sarah Tew/CNET

How does stimulus check eligibility work with dependents?

To be eligible, you must be a US citizen, a permanent resident or a qualifying “resident alien.” You must also have a valid Social Security number and can’t be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer.

Here’s where the rules get tricky. On the surface, the rules to claim a check — with or without a child dependent — including having an adjusted gross income under $99,000 (single people), $146,500 (heads of household) or $198,000 (married couples filing jointly). But, and here’s the big catch, because of the way the IRS calculates your stimulus check, you may actually be entitled to some money if you claim a child on your taxes, even if you exceed the income limit.

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 about dependents change for a second stimulus check.)

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. Here’s how the IRS defines an adult eligible to receive their own check.

What happens if I miss the new Nov. 21 deadline?

The deadline to file for your missing $500 stimulus money is Nov. 21, and if you miss the deadline, you can still get your payment. When you file your taxes in 2021, you can claim the additional amount on behalf of eligible dependents. The IRS will use either your 2019 or 2018 tax return to determine how much you’re owed and is expected to post instructions online closer to tax season next year. 

For more information about stimulus payments, here’s how fast the IRS could send out a second stimulus payment if a bill is passed issuing them. And if you still haven’t received your stimulus check and you think it’s lost or missing, try this IRS phone number to file a report.


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