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

Angela Lang/CNET

If you’re missing a $500 payment for for each qualified child dependent you claim on your taxes from the first round of stimulus checks, or if you think your check wasn’t as big as it should have been, you now have until Nov. 21 to make a claim if you want to receive that money before the end of 2020. (Here’s how the IRS decides payment amounts.) The IRS extended its original deadline from Sept. 30, giving families more time to file. 

Parents who share custody of a child dependent and have a situation where child support is paid may both be entitled to $500, but you might still need to claim your payment if you didn’t get it already. Note that unpaid child support debts are sometimes settled by the IRS garnishing a stimulus check.

If you’re still missing money, read on for how to claim it. CNET’s stimulus check calculator can help with an estimate of how much you might get if you have your adjusted gross income from your taxes. And if you’re wondering what could be in the next economic relief bill besides a second stimulus payment, read about the current status of negotiations.

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How do I get my missing $500 dependent stimulus check?

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 moreYou don’t have to be a US citizen living in America to get a stimulus check

When can I expect to claim my $500 catch-up payment from the IRS?

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.


You can either have the check sent to you or have it deposited in your account.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Could I be eligible for the first stimulus payment if I have a dependent?

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. Also note that the White House may try to narrow who is eligible for a second round of checks to US citizens.

What can I do 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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