Don’t Accidentally Toss Your Stimulus!

The recent $900 billion coronavirus stimulus bill authorized a direct payment of up to $600 per eligible adult and $600 per dependent child. Many Americans have already had this money deposited directly into their bank accounts.

However, the IRS was given a short Jan. 15 deadline to distribute the funds and opted to send the payment via debit card to around 4 million people. This includes some people who received their first stimulus payment via check, as releasing the funds on debit cards can actually be faster under certain circumstances.

Unfortunately, there’s just one problem: The debit cards could easily be mistaken for junk mail and thrown away. In fact, reports indicate some people have tossed their stimulus payment into the trash or have been reluctant to activate the cards out of fear it’s a scam.

Don’t make that mistake; it will delay the arrival of your stimulus money. 

What the Stimulus Debit Card Delivery Looks Like

According to the IRS, if your stimulus payment is sent via debit card, it will come in a plain white envelope. On the outside, the envelope does not indicate it comes from the IRS or the federal government at all. 

When you open the envelope, the card should have a Visa logo on the front and the name MetaBank N.A. on the back, as that is the issuing bank. You will also receive a document inside the envelope that explains the debit card is your economic impact payment.

After receiving your card, you can use it to make online purchases, buy items at retail stores, withdraw money for free at an AllPoint ATM or transfer the funds to your personal bank account. Taking any of these actions with your card should be free. Check the balance of your card for free online, via mobile phone or by using the Money Network Mobile App.

Don’t Throw Away Your Debit Card 

If you accidentally tossed your debit card in the trash, you’ll have to formally request another one. You can do so by contacting customer service at 1-800-240-8100. While there is no cost to get the card replaced the first time, there is a fee of $17 for priority shipping. You don’t want to have to wait longer for your money or get hit with this fee, so it’s best to avoid losing your card in the first place.

If you aren’t sure whether or not your payment is on the way, you can use the IRS’ Get My Payment tool. This should indicate the date your direct deposit was or will be made, or the date your debit card or paper check has been or will be mailed. If your money is coming via mail, be sure to watch out for your envelope. And look carefully at all your mail so you don’t accidentally throw out your long-awaited money.

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