Coronavirus

Stimulus check: who receives IRS debit cards and how many are being sent?

The Internal Revenue Service have followed up the 140 million stimulus payments issued to Americans with prepaid debit cards to cover those who missed out.

Stimulus check: who receives IRS debit cards and how many are being sent?
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI AFP

The CARES Act was signed by US President Donald Trump in a bid to help individuals who had lost their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic. This bill provided Americans with a $1,200 Economic Impact Payment but not everybody who was entitled to receive it has done. The shortfall is being made up, in part, with the issuing of prepaid debit cards.

Stimulus check IRS debit cards being sent out

The Inland Revenue Service (IRS) confirmed that it had already sent 140 million payments worth a $200 billion to households, primarily via bank accounts stored on the system or by mail. Anyone expecting a payment can track its status by using the Get My Payment portal, while we are aware that around 20 million are still waiting for their money.

US President Donald Trump looks at a pre-paid debit card sat in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC.

US President Donald Trump looks at a pre-paid debit card sat in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC.

To deal with this, the US Treasury announced on Monday 18 May that they would be sending out four million stimulus payments using specially created prepaid debit cards with the remaining payments being made by paper checks. These cards have been named as per the bill term, Economic Impact Payments (EIP), and they will arrive with instructions for activation included. Once the EIP card is activated people can use it as they please and even withdraw the money to get cash from Allpoint ATMs or transfer the funds to another account.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that “Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly,”  adding that, “Recipients can immediately activate and use the cards safely.”

See also:

  • Can I claim the $500 in California if I haven't received my stimulus check? - read
  • Experts fear US jobless rate will peak above 1933 figures - read
  • Second stimulus check: what needs to happen for it to be approved - read
  • $1,200, $2,000 or $6,000 - how much would second stimulus check be? - read
  • Would a second stimulus check come as a debit card?

The issuer of the EIP card is MetaBank and people will also be able to use it to buy things online, which means that it has the same consumer protections as traditional debit cards. The card will arrive in a plain envelope sent from Money Network Cardholder Services.

The nearly four million Americans who will receive these cards are the ones that don’t have bank account information on file with the IRS.