How to Get Your $1,400 Stimulus If You Are Homeless Right Now

The IRS has started issuing third stimulus payments, the "vast majority" of which are expected to be paid by direct deposit, the federal body said.

But what about payments for those who don't have bank accounts or a fixed address, such as the homeless? The issue recently sparked debate on Twitter, with some users wondering how the homeless can access stimulus funds.

One tweet, by model and activist Hamdia Ahmed, that highlighted the issue has been shared more than 100,000 times in less than 24 hours.

I was really upset that homeless people did not have access to the $1,400 stimulus check.

I just found this out. If you are homeless, you can go to a tax return office where they will file something called EIP return. They will put the money on a debit card after.

Retweet.!

— Hamdia Ahmed (@hamdia_ahmed) March 15, 2021

An IRS spokesperson told Newsweek the agency works "extensively with partner and outreach groups" to help the homeless sign up, noting that "more remain eligible."

"The IRS continues working aggressively with partner groups inside and outside the tax community to help as many people, including those in the homeless community, receive the stimulus payments as possible," they added.

If you are experiencing homelessness, or know somebody who is, find out below how to avoid missing out on the next payment.

Registration

Last year, people experiencing homelessness were directed to register with the IRS using the "Non-Filers" tool at the IRS website in order to claim their stimulus payments.

The deadline for registering was November 21, 2020. But those who missed the deadline could still be eligible for stimulus payments, if the following apply:

Those who haven't received any stimulus funds so far could still apply to receive all three payments by filing a 2020 tax return and claiming the Recovery Rebate Credit.

An IRS spokesperson added: "For those who haven't filed a tax return or signed up previously, they remain eligible for the third stimulus payment—and can also qualify for the previous payments—by filing a 2020 tax return."

You may qualify for the credit even if you don't usually file taxes and can file a tax return for free by using the IRS Free File program. See the IRS website for more information.

"Even if you don't have a computer, if you have a smartphone, you can access Free File online and do your tax return," the IRS said in early March.

"If you have no taxable income, simply answer the questions including those requesting information needed to compute the Recovery Rebate Credit."

Tax form help

People experiencing homelessness can get assistance filing tax forms by visiting their nearest IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site.

"There are thousands of available locations across the U.S. that can help you get your taxes prepared for free," the IRS says.

EIP Cards

The homeless may receive stimulus payments via Economic Impact Payment (EIP) cards if the IRS does not have any bank account information on them.

A mailing address would be required to receive the EIP Card, which is sent within 15 days according to the IRS.

Those who don't have a fixed address due to homelessness or a recent house move can access one of the following options, as outlined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):

  • Shelters, service providers or places of worship that hold mail for residents or clients.
  • Post office boxes.
  • Personal mailboxes which can be rented to provide a permanent address.
  • People can also use a post office address as General Delivery. A post office will hold general delivery for 30 days. People will need to contact the post office for General Delivery instructions for their area.

"The IRS urges people who don't normally file a tax return and haven't received any stimulus payments to look into their filing options. The IRS will continue reaching out to non-filers so that as many eligible people as possible receive the stimulus payments they're entitled to," the federal body said in early March.

See the IRS website for more information on the latest round of stimulus payments.

Newsweek has contacted the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for comment.

homeless LA California February 2021
A woman walks past tents for the homeless on a street in Los Angeles, California on February 1. Last year, members of the homeless community were directed to register with the IRS using the "Non-Filers" tool at the IRS website to receive their stimulus payment. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The graphic below, produced by Statista, illustrates the number of people in the U.S. claiming unemployment benefits in the week ending February 20.

Stimulus Package Jobless Relief - Statista
Statista

The graphic below, also produced by Statista, illustrates the composition of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

Stimulus Package 1.9tn - Statista
Statista

This article has been updated with comment from the IRS.