Here's why your stimulus payment could still take weeks to arrive

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Help is on the way for struggling Texans looking for their stimulus payment or those in need of more unemployment benefits.

This week, the IRS sent out eight million pre-paid debit cards. This comes after the government mistakenly sent millions of payments to tax preparers instead of taxpayers.

Earlier this week, H&R Block started to return payments.

TurboTax said they also started to return millions of stimulus payments in a statement released on Friday:

"Stimulus payments for millions of TurboTax customers affected by the IRS error will be deposited starting today, January 8th. We have been working tirelessly with the Treasury and IRS to get stimulus payments to our customers. We know how important these funds are for so many Americans and we regret that an IRS error caused a delay."

If your payment was delayed because it was sent to your tax preparer, you could have to wait awhile, like Houston resident Damon Bacon.

"That's at least another six to eight weeks with everybody going to be filing, and no W2s have been sent out yet," Bacon said.

He said a tool on the IRS 'Get My Payment' website said in order for him to get the money, he has to claim it on his 2020 tax return as a Recovery Rebate Credit.

SEE ALSO: Haven't received your stimulus check? What you need to know about the Recovery Rebate Credit

If you don't receive a payment in the coming weeks, the agency said you may also have to claim it as a credit.

"What does my tax return have to do with right now if this is something they were trying to have made available for people right now? People are hurting right now," Bacon explained.

Despite the struggle, help arrived for unemployed Texans this week. Texas Workforce Commission said 1.1 million Texans are now receiving the extra $300 weekly benefit.

If you're still waiting, TWC said it could take a few weeks, but you'll get all the money.

"People who did not receive benefits for the week ending January 2nd, but were eligible, will get those benefits backdated," TWC spokesperson Cisco Gamez explained. "There will be no backdating benefits prior to the week ending January 2nd."

The boosted benefits will last until mid-March. On Friday, the national jobs report for December was released and it showed that for the first time since April, more jobs have been lost than created..

Despite this, Workforce Solutions officials said employers are hiring.

If you want a job, experts said to treat it as if you're looking for a full-time job. Don't blindly apply to hundreds of positions, and be sure to highlight your skills.

"Not just putting in keywords in there, because the machines are smart enough to figure that out," Workforce Solutions spokesperson Michelle Castrow said.

"You want to really take it and you want to demonstrate how you have applied that skill in your previous job."

This week, ABC13 hosted a virtual job fair in partnership with Workforce Solutions, featuring nearly 400 jobs.

If you want to apply, click on the "As Seen on ABC13" section.

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