The first coronavirus checks went out last week.

Angela Lang/CNET

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

Where’s my stimulus check? How will I receive it? And how much money do I receive? If you’re asking those questions, we’ve got some answers. Since the middle of last week, nearly 90 million eligible US residents have been been getting their coronavirus payments of up to $1,200 through direct deposit. And starting this week, the IRS is mailing out the first paper checks, too.

According to the US House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, the IRS may take up to 20 weeks to mail all the checks. Don’t panic. You can still receive your payment much faster by setting up electronic funds transfer with the federal government. Whichever way you choose, we’re going to show you how to track your status, if we can, to see your payment schedule. 

We’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to use the IRS’ online status tracker, which is called Get My Payment. Be aware that some who meet the requirements for an economic relief payment are having trouble tracking their payment status and entering their electronic banking information for direct deposit — we’ve asked the IRS for details. We’ll also tell you what happens if you’re getting a paper check through the mail.

Keep track of the coronavirus pandemic.

As for how much money you should expect to receive, without doing some calculations, it isn’t obvious how much you’re entitled to. Your final allowance will depend on a line in your tax form from either your 2018 or 2019 taxes. You can follow our guidelines or use a calculator to find out. Just know that a little legwork is unavoidable.

Read more: 20 places to buy face masks and cloth coverings online

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How to track the status of your stimulus check from the IRS 

If you’re eligible for a payment, the IRS lets you track your money through its Get My Payment web portal. Due to high demand, you may see a message that you have to wait before you can access the site. 

1. Head to the IRS’ Get My Payment page and tap the blue Get My Payment button to check the status of your economic impact payment. 

2. On the next page about authorized use, tap OK.

3. Now on the Get My Payment page, enter your social security number (SSN) or individual tax ID (ITIN), your date of birth, your street address and your ZIP or postal code. Tap Continue.

On the next page, the portal will show your payment status, whether it’s been scheduled or if the service can’t yet determine your status. If you’ve not set up direct deposit with the IRS, the service may walk you through those steps to get your check sent straight to your bank account. Here’s how to set up direct deposit.

How do I know if my check is in the mail?

Last week the IRS began transferring the first stimulus payments to tens of millions of US residents who’ve set up direct deposit with the government. But not everyone gets an electronic transfer.

Some who haven’t set up direct deposit are reporting they’ve been notified their checks will be mailed April 24. Those of you receiving paper checks will soon get them “starting next week,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. 

How do I know that my status information is accurate and what if I get an error message?

Unfortunately, confusing message while using the status tool are possible — so much so that the IRS explains common status messages in an FAQ. You may get a message if it’s impossible to determine your eligibility, for example, or your payment status is not available. We’re looking into it, but so far unearthed 9 reasons why Get My Payment may not be able to track your payment status. 

The IRS updates its status tracking information on who has and hasn’t received their payment once a day. 

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You don’t need to sign up to receive stimulus money

To receive the stimulus payment, you may need to file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 if you are normally required to. You can still do that now. Here’s how.

Senior citizens, Social Security recipients, railroad retirees and other beneficiaries who typically are not required to file tax returns will not need to file one to receive a payment.

The agency will mail a letter to a taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after sending the payment. The letter will contain information on when the payment was made and how to report to the IRS if you didn’t receive your check. 

For more on the stimulus checks, here’s how best to use your stimulus check and how to avoid being scammed. Here’s everything you need to know about coronavirus and unemployment.

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