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'My advice right now - please be patient' | Experts say if you haven't gotten your stimulus check yet - don't panic

Millions of Americans qualified for assistance - and already got the stimulus check. But many, are still waiting for that money.

The federal government began sending relief to people across the country beginning last month in the form of a stimulus payment.

Millions of Americans qualified for assistance - and already got the stimulus check. But many, are still waiting for that money.

Regardless of where you fall - we know you've got questions.

WFMY News 2 enlisted the help of Mark Hensley with AARP, one of our experts when it comes to all things stimulus money.

"I cannot reiterate enough, that this is a stimulus payment to stimulate the economy to give peace of mind to US citizens, to have additional funds during this really unprecedented time," he said Friday. 

Two common questions to our newsroom: are taxes taken out before we get the money, and do we have to pay it back?

The answer to both inquires - a resounding no. 

"This is a gift, this is not taxable income," Hensley said. 

Those who receive disability or Social Security payments are eligible for stimulus money. If you don't file taxes because you don't earn an income - you're also eligible - Hensley says, you just have to let the IRS know you're out there. 

"I recommend that all people go out to IRS.gov to check your status - which you can do online. The database is updated every evening, every night," he said. 

Head to the 'Get My Payment' page to find out the status of your stimulus payment. 

From there, you'll find out if the payment has been processed, and how you'll receive it - or if you need to provide more information.

If you're seeing 'Payment Status Not Available,' keep checking back. 

"Keep in mind, this is millions and millions of pieces of data. Wait a few days, wait one day, and check the next day. Don’t go back and check multiple times a day," Hensley said, "It's a developing story. It’s unprecedented. In the scope, the size, and the amount of funding that is going out. So there’s obviously going to be glitches."

His best advice? Don't panic yet. 

"With it being May 1, please be patient. It could take a few more weeks to get paychecks out. I would not start to really be concerned until probably mid to late May."

If you have lingering questions - click here for the IRS Frequently Asked Questions pages.

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