inc stim checkMany of the 1.5 million incarcerated people in the U.S. met the requirements for stimulus payments but only 85,000 of them were able to receive their checks before the action was reversed. Those who had been incarcerated as of March 27, 2020 were previously deemed ineligible by the IRS to receive their stimulus checks. However, the IRS is appealing to allow prisoners the chance to claim their $1,200 economic impact payment.

When do I need to apply? 

    • Applications made through the IRS Online Nonfiler Portal must be submitted by November 21, 2020.
      • The IRS does not permit friends and family of incarcerated persons to apply through the online portal on their behalf—even with a power of attorney.
    • Applications being mailed in must be postmarked by October 30th, 2020.
      • The court has mailed wardens a cover letter explaining this decision and paper copies of the 1040 to provide to prisoners.

Do I need to reapply if I have already been rejected due to my imprisonment?

    • If you have made a claim by October 24, you do not need to reapply. All claims made by this date will be reprocessed. You can monitor your payment on the official IRS website.
    • If you do not receive payment or see it as “processing” by November 1st, contact the EIP hotline at 800-919-9835.

Do I qualify if I filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019, or received social security or railroad retirement benefits?

Yes. You should be getting your check automatically. Check the “Get My Payment” page (above) and contact the EIP hotline (above) if you have not received your check or see it as processing.

What if I miss the November 21, 2020 deadline?

If you miss the extended deadline of November 21, 2020, you can file for EIPs with your tax return in 2021.

This extension does not affect those who have already received a stimulus check, nor does it change the eligibility EIPs. The deadline does not affect regular 1040 tax return deadlines.

Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well‐being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, visit our website at

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