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No internet, no check status: Iowans without web access remain in financial limbo

The IRS has a stimulus check tracking tool, but Iowans without internet access aren't able to get the same service over the phone.

DES MOINES, Iowa — In the past few days here at Local 5, we've received hundreds and hundreds of text messages, phone calls and emails requesting information on stimulus check status. 

When you text the word "checks" to the number (515) 457-1026, we'll send you a link that leads you to right back here, our website. 

Specifically, we'll send you a story that answers your most-asked questions and provides you the link to the IRS check tracker.

However, not all Iowans have access to the internet. And even those who do may not know how to navigate it the right way. The team at Aging Resources of Central Iowa said it's put many Iowans who lack access in a bind.

"It's very frustrating for people that don’t have internet access— it’s incredibly difficult," said Kay Vanags, LifeLong Links director at the agency. "We usually listen to people and listen to their frustrations and things and acknowledge that it is frustrating to not be able to navigate all of this."

RELATED: Third stimulus check: Track the status of your payment on IRS website, find out who qualifies

However, beyond that, Vanags said there's not much they or anyone else can do. They can't help put information for individuals into the online check tracker, because that would be involved taking a person's Social Security number.

"That would be privileged information, you know, that we wouldn’t want to take from them," said Vanags.

RELATED: Do those experiencing homelessness qualify for the third stimulus?

She said they've tried suggesting for people to call the IRS phone line but acknowledges it can be a "headache"; after all, when we called, a recording said, "Due to extremely high call volume, your call cannot be completed at this time. Our phone assistors do not have additional information beyond what's available on IRS.gov." 

That's no help for people who don't have internet.

Vanags said the best advice they can give older Iowans who call is to just wait it out, albeit frustrating.

"It’s very critical money for them, and money that they need to cover expenses and so it’s hard to be patient when you’re in need," said Vanags. "But people just kind of have to be patient, and it will come."

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RELATED: Here's what to know if you filed taxes as a couple but didn't get your entire stimulus payment