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Resources for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness


Options for individuals without a bank account for direct deposit

Many financial institutions will help an individual lacking an account to open a low-cost or no-cost bank account. Individuals who open accounts will then have an account and routing number available when they file and claim a direct deposit of the EIP payment.

For information about opening an account online, please visit the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) website.

To locate a nearby FDIC-insured bank, please visit the FDIC’s BankFind tool. Additionally, BankOn, American Bankers Association, Independent Community Bankers of America, National Credit Union Administration have all compiled lists of banks and credit unions that can open an account online.

Veterans can learn more about access to financial services at participating banks through the Veterans Benefits Banking Program (VBBP).

Individuals with a prepaid debit card may be able to have their refund applied to the card. Many reloadable prepaid cards or mobile payment apps have account and routing numbers that can be provided to the Internal Revenue Service. Individuals would need to check with the financial institution affiliated with the card to ensure it can be used and to obtain the routing number and account number, which may be different from the card number.

File your Taxes for Free

Individuals can use a smartphone or computer to file taxes for free online. This online resource is recommended by the Internal Revenue Service for individuals experiencing homelessness to prepare and electronically file their tax return.

Check your Refund and Payment Status

Individuals can check the status of their tax refund using Where’s My Refund? at IRS.gov or call 800-829-1954 for automated refund information.

To check the status of their third Economic Impact Payment, individuals can click Get My Payment on IRS.gov. Please note, the Internal Revenue Service’s phone assistors do not have more information than what is available in this online tool.

Earned Income Tax Credits for the Homeless

For individuals experiencing homelessness who have a job, filing a return often includes receiving a refund based on various tax benefits, especially the Earned Income Tax Credit for low- and moderate-income workers and working families.

Because it is a refundable credit, those who qualify and claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax, or even get a tax refund. The amount varies depending upon the worker’s income, marital status, and other factors.

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes that eligible workers experiencing homelessness often encounter unique challenges and has created an online EITC Assistant tool to help individuals find out if they’re eligible.

Homeless individuals living in a homeless shelter can use the shelter as their home address

To receive the Earned Income Tax Credit, federal law requires that a worker live in the U.S. for more than half of the year and meet other requirements. This means living in a home in any of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Individuals experiencing homelessness who have a job, including those who reside at one or more homeless shelters, can meet that requirement to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit.