ORLANDO, Fla. — A deadline looms for the Internal Revenue Service to send out checks from the most recent federal stimulus package, and eligible Americans who don't get one in the next couple of weeks may need to go through an extra step to get their money.

What You Need To Know

  • Some people are getting error message when checking status on IRS site

  • IRS urges people to be patient as it's working to get out payments quickly

  • If you don't get it soon, you may have to file Recovery Rebate Credit on taxes

According to the rules of the stimulus, the U.S. Treasury Department has a midnight deadline to get the checks out, though it could take beyond that to get them all issued.

Michael Mercado has been waiting for weeks for his check.

“Obviously, the second check is being distributed, but I haven’t received it," Mercado said. 

He said when he checks the status of his payment on the IRS website, he gets an error message. 

"Based on what I see online, when I track the payment, I’m getting kind of an error message, and it’s saying there's not enough information provided to track the payment, or I’m not eligible for a stimulus check," Mercado said. 

Dylan Hellebrand said he gets the same message.

"Did you do anything differently from what you did last time you got your stimulus check?"

Hellebrand denies doing anything differently from the last time the federal government issued stimulus checks.

“I did not. It's the exact same steps that I have been taking," he said. "I received my first one through the mail, so it took me a little bit of time, but it's not taking me as long as it is now."

The IRS tells us if you are getting these messages, be patient and don’t call the IRS. The agency says it's working to get out the payments, which includes redirecting payments that may have gone to incorrect accounts.

But what if February rolls around, and you still haven't gotten your stimulus check?

According to the IRS, you will have to claim it by filing a Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 taxes.

Getting checks out "needs to happen sooner than later as opposed to delaying the process," Mercado said. "A lot of people are hurting, including myself, and we really do need this money.” 

While this deadline was put in the COVID-19 relief bill that made this second stimulus check possible, some people could still get their payments either by mail or direct deposit a few days beyond the January 15 deadline.

“It's very important that we get the benefits that we need, because a lot of people need it right now in this country,” Hellebrand said.