Stimulus checks and cash resting on the American flag

Federal Stimulus Payments

The Recovery Rebate Credits (Economic Impact Payments/Stimulus Checks) for 2020 and 2021

Claim your first, second, or third stimulus check! You can claim the stimulus payments as a tax credit and get the money as part of your tax refund. The stimulus checks are a federal tax credit, known as the Recovery Rebate Credit. In order to get the Recovery Rebate Credit, you will need to file a tax return.

First and Second Stimulus Check

You will need to file a tax return for Tax Year 2020 (which you file in 2021). The deadline to file your taxes was last October 15, 2021. If you missed the October 2021 filing deadline, you can still file your tax return to get your first and second stimulus checks. If you don’t owe taxes, there is no penalty for filing late.

To learn more about your options, read the IRS page Filing Past Due Tax Returns.

Please note: If you owe taxes, you may be subject to penalties and fines for not filing or not paying taxes. The government may reduce your tax refund to pay for any taxes you owe and other federal and state debts.

To learn more about your options if you think you owe taxes read the “Get IT Back“ page What to Do if I Owe Taxes but Can’t Pay Them.”

Third Stimulus Check

You will need to file a tax return for Tax Year 2021 (which you file in 2022). The deadline to file your tax return is November 15, 2022.

If you received the stimulus payment in 2021, you should have an IRS letter “Notice 1444-C” showing the amount you received so you can record it on your tax return.

  • If you didn’t receive the most recent stimulus payment, you can claim it when you file your 2021 tax return.

Please note: If you didn’t receive the first or second stimulus payments, even though you’re eligible based on your income, you need to file or amend your Tax Year 2020 returns to receive those payments. Learn more about your options if you need to amend your taxes on the IRS page.


Here are additional resources links to get your stimulus check:

Call the 211 Economic Impact Payment Helpline with questions: +1 (844) 322-3639

Contact Us

CDSS Outreach Team
744 P Street, MS 8-8-139
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-0515

Outreach Helpline

Outreach Campaigns

Quick Links