Coronavirus

Stimulus check: what to do if the payment is sent but the mail has not arrived

The CARES Act has seen millions of Americans receive a coronavirus Economic Impact Payment, with speculation growing that many will need another.

Stimulus check: what to do if the payment is sent but the mail has not arrived
JASON SZENES EFE

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act, passed in March, has seen millions of Americans receive an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) of up to $1,200 to help them cope with the effects of a pandemic. The coronavirus has led to the worst unemployment rates for decades. Over 40 million people in the United States have been forced to file for unemployment benefits over the past 10 weeks.

Just under $260 billion has been sent out in Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) across the States, the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said in their most recent EIP figures.

Pezzente stands outside the White House with his stimulus check, offering to return it to Trump during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in WashingtonNick Pezzente of Florida stands outside the White House with his stimulus check, offering to return it to U.S. President Donald Trump during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Washington, U.S. May 29, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Four million stimulus checks sent out as EIP Cards

Most EIPs have been sent either by direct bank deposit or as a paper check, but the Treasury and the IRS revealed last month that they had begun mailing out around four million checks in the form of prepaid debit cards.

Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use, and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin in the announcement. “Recipients can immediately activate and use the cards safely.”

Tracking mail

If the U.S. Post Office was unable to deliver the check and returns it to the IRS, the agency said it will update your payment status at the "Get My Payment" site to "Need More Information." That will allow you to enter your bank account information for direct deposit.

As a means to ease anxiety regarding your mail-ordered checks, the US Postal Service has a mail-tracking service that allows you to keep an eye on mail due to be delivered to your address.

The free service is called Informed Delivery and it works by sending users a digital image of the actual envelope containing their checks. The service also issues a notification when the envelope is in transit to your home.

Informed Delivery is not just a service to track stimulus checks. In fact, it's a pre-existing service that tracks all of your mail.

You can also use the IRS' online Get My Payment tool: enter your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), plus your date of birth, address and ZIP code, and you should be able to view your payment status and information on the scheduling of your check.