The IRS is now sending out stimulus money on prepaid debit cards. Here’s what to do if you threw … [+]
Last week, the IRS started sending out economic impact payments, commonly referred to as stimulus checks, via prepaid debit cards. But the rollout has been shaky at best.
The debit cards, called Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Cards, are slated to be sent to nearly 4 million Americans so far. Individuals who don’t have banking information on file with the IRS from 2018 or 2019 and had their tax returns processed by the Andover, Massachusetts or Austin, Texas IRS Centers will be mailed these cards.
The EIP cards have been sent in plain, white envelopes, sparking confusion among Americans as to whether these cards were really from the government or if they were a scam.
Those who thought the plain envelopes weren’t legitimate—or didn’t even realize that they were holding their economic impact payments—could have tossed them in the trash with their junk mail. If that’s the case, take these steps now to recover your EIP Card.
How to Order a Replacement Economic Impact Card
Stimulus checks are one-time payments sent to Americans to help them weather the coronavirus crisis. These payments, which were federally mandated in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act can be as much as $1,200 per individual, plus an additional $500 per qualifying child. There are income limits to these payments, so not everyone qualifies.
EIP Cards are sent to the most recent mailing address filed with the IRS. Cards will be sent in plain envelopes from “Money Network Cardholder Services.” The cards are issued on the VISA V network by issuing bank MetaBank. Both institution names are visible on the cards.
If you threw your EIP Card away, there is a way to order a new one for free. But you only get one free replacement—so make sure you keep an eye out for the next envelope.
According to the EIP Card website, individuals with a discarded or destroyed card can receive one free reissued card. To order a new card, the website says to call the customer service number immediately (1-800-240-8100) and select the “lost/stolen” option. The original EIP Card will be deactivated and a replacement card will be sent.
Cards that are replaced after the first free replacement will have a $7.50 charge to the account. Additionally, cardholders can pay an additional $17 charge for priority shipping, should they need their card sooner. These costs will be charged directly from the funds available in your account.
Originally, there was a fee to replace lost or damaged cards. On May 29, after reports of individuals accidentally tossing their EIP Cards in the trash, the card’s website quietly updated its policy to provide one replacement card for free.
EIP Cards are being sent out by the IRS and have stimulus check money loaded onto them. The cards will come in a plain, white envelope from “Money Network Card Services.” Do not throw the envelope in the trash; however, if you do, you are entitled to one free replacement card. After that, additional replacements will cost you money.