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Waiting on your stimulus check? You may be able to expedite it

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  • More than 80 million Americans are expected to get their coronavirus stimulus payments by direct deposit this week.
  • For some individuals, especially those who don't typically file taxes or who want to update their bank account information, the government is providing new tools to help facilitate payment.
  • Here's who may need to furnish new information to ensure they get the money owed to them as quickly as possible.

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The U.S. government has started sending coronavirus stimulus payments to millions of Americans.

For many, the money can't come fast enough.

"Millions of Americans are already seeing their Economic Impact Payments in their bank accounts," Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wrote on Twitter on Monday. "We expect over 80 million Americans to get their money by direct deposit by this Wednesday!"

Many people, however,  are already griping that they had not yet seen their payments.

Admittedly, it will take time for the money to get in the hands of everyone who is eligible.

Single individuals who earn up to $75,000 stand to get $1,200 payments, while married couples who file their income taxes jointly are eligible for up to $2,400. In addition, children under 17 are eligible for $500.

Those payments are reduced for those earning more and phase out completely for individuals with income over $99,000; or $136,500 for head of households; or $198,000 if you file jointly with your spouse and have no children.

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To help speed up those payments, the government has set up ways for some individuals and families to update their information.

If you typically don't file tax returns

The payments you receive are based on your tax returns for 2019. If you didn't file your taxes yet this year, the government will use your 2018 information.

Some individuals typically don't file, often because they pay little to no taxes, but they are still eligible for relief payments.

For those people, the government has launched a web portal for entering information and expediting payments.

To be clear, there are also some individuals who typically do not file but who do not need to use the portal. That includes Social Security beneficiaries and railroad retirement recipients, who will receive their payments automatically, regardless of not having filed for 2018 or 2019. That money will be sent "primarily electronically," according to the Treasury Department.

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What to do if the coronavirus pandemic is rocking your finances

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However, those individuals may still want to use the portal if they have dependents who are eligible for those $500 payments, the Social Security Administration said in its most recent guidance.

"If Social Security beneficiaries in this group do not provide their information to the IRS soon, they will have to wait to receive their $500 per qualifying child," according to the SSA. "The same new guidance also applies to SSI [Supplemental Security Income] recipients, especially those who have qualifying children under age 17."

For individuals who receive SSI and do not have dependents, the government is working to send those payments automatically.

If you need to update your bank information

The Treasury Department also plans to launch an online application this week for individuals who filed their returns already and need to update their bank account information.

Through the app, people will be able to expedite their payments by putting in their direct deposit information so they do not have to wait for paper checks in the mail. Mailed checks are slated to be sent out later than direct deposit payments.

The tool will also let individuals track the status of their payments.

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