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Why most banks are waiting until March 17 to process stimulus checks

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Updated: Mar. 15, 2021 at 5:30 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - If you have not gotten your stimulus check yet, you are not alone. The differences between why some have already gotten the $1,400 payment and why some are still waiting comes down to your bank and delivery method.

The new payments have an effective date of March 17, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It’s an automated payment, and the Internal Revenue Service has already sent the banks the information for them.

However, some smaller banks and apps started depositing payments over the weekend. They’re not jumping the gun, instead they are likely crediting the payment to their customers ahead of schedule according to Blue Ridge Bank Chief Operating Officer Bill Callaghan. The banks that haven’t paid out are just waiting for the automated process to occur Wednesday, March 17.

“Typically, the process is you pay based on the effective date, and it’s an automated process,” Callaghan explained. “You know, quite honestly, it’s not something that we like to tinker with.”

The good news is the wait for a direct payment won’t be as long as the first relief bill, because the IRS already has your information on file. If you have direct deposit, and received a check previously, you should see your check as soon as March 17. However, if you opted for a mailed check, or qualify for the first time, the process may take longer.

Just like with the last two bills, the government and banks are encouraging people to check their status with the IRS online. The IRS recently updated the system to show the expected deposit date.

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