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Stimulus check: what is an EIP payment and how does it work?

If a second stimulus payment is approved a prepaid Economic Impact Payment card could be delivered to about four million Americans who do not have bank information.

Estados UnidosUpdate:
Stimulus check: what is an EIP payment and how does it work?

There are roughly four million Americans for whom the IRS do not have bank information and the US tax authority, responsible for the coronavirus stimulus checks, decided to send them an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) card worth up to $1,200 per individual as part of the first round of payments under the CARES Act. EIP cards are debit cards that you can spend like cash or use to transfer the funds to your bank.

EIPs work the same as a regular debit card and can be used to make purchases online with the same protection plan. They can be used to make purchases anywhere a debit card is accepted, withdraw cash from ATMs and transfer the stimulus funds to any account the holder wants without a fee.

Activating the EIP card

It is important to note that once people receive the EIP card in the mail they have to activate it on the EIP card website where they can also learn more about its features. If and when Congress approves the fifth stimulus relief package including a second round of stimulus checks, the IRS is likely to start sending payments by way of EIP cards instead of sending checks through the mail. Note that for this second round the IRS has said that it may send EIP cards to people who received a check first time around as it considers them more secure and more cost effective.

If a second stimulus bill does get approved it is likely that the nearly 4 million people that received an EIP card for the first payment will receive another one for the second payment.

Payment cards are often sent in plain envelopes to deter fraud and thieves. If you do not want to receive an EIP card and would rather get the money deposited directly if there is a second stimulus payment, then you can go through the ‘Get My Payment’ portal to fill out your bank information.


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