CORONAVIRUS

Stimulus check: how to track Covid-19 relief payment sent by mail

Information on how to follow the progress of your coronavirus Economic Impact Payment if it's being delivered by the USPS as a paper check or EIP Card.

Stimulus check: how to track Covid-19 relief payment if it's sent by mail
Mike Segar REUTERS

As part of the CARES Act, a $2.2tn relief package passed in March, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been issuing Economic Impact Payments to eligible Americans in a bid to help people in the United States cope with the financial effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nearly $270 billion paid out in stimulus checks so far

According to the latest figures released by the IRS and the US Department of the Treasury, around 159 million EIPs, or stimulus checks, have so far been processed, at a total worth of more than $267 billion.

Paid by direct deposit or as paper check/EIP Card

If the IRS doesn’t have the recipient’s bank details to transfer their EIP by direct deposit (the deadline to enter account information in the IRS’ Get My Payment portal passed on 13 May), the US tax office will instead mail a paper check or prepaid debit card to the postal address it has on file for that person.

If your stimulus check is arriving by post, here are two ways to track it:

Get My Payment tool

You can 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.

It is also worth pointing out that the IRS says it will send a letter to check recipients within 15 days of payment, providing “information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment”.

Note: If you are not required to file a US tax return, your check is processed via the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool, rather than Get My Payment.

USPS Informed Delivery

There is also another way to follow the progress of your paper check or EIP Card: the US Postal Service (USPS) offers a free mail-tracking service called Informed Delivery, which lets subscribers know when letter-sized post is on its way to their address.

You’ll find a useful, step-by-step guide on how to sign up for Informed Delivery here.

Live coverage of the coronavirus crisis

At the time of writing, the coronavirus pandemic had led to 1,951,722 cases and 110,771 deaths in the United States, which has been the country most affected by the virus. You can get the latest America-focused news on the coronavirus pandemic by following our dedicated US live blog.

We also have a rolling feed covering the ongoing fall-out from the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man, in police custody in Minneapolis two weeks ago.