What is the Economic Impact Payment Card?
What is the Economic Impact Payment Card? Have you heard about this? Great if you have! I had not. The news instead is filled with impeachment, riots and COVID. But not the payment card. So that’s why I am writing this article. I want to get the word out.
The US government has decided to issue these cards instead of sending checks for the second round of stimulus checks. But I sure didn’t hear about it. So when my friend received one, we were suspicious. (He is legally blind, and I help him with his mail.) It looked like a possible scam to me, so I researched it.
Much to my surprise, I found out it is real and actually provided him with stimulus funds.
Not a Scam
I am a very suspicious person. It probably comes from having worked in support services for law enforcement. One gets a bit jaded from hearing all sorts of excuses. And I have talked with people who were scammed in all sorts of ways. Hence my suspicious nature.
So my red flag warning went off when I saw this. Why? Because:
- I had not heard anything about a payment card
- We all see all sorts of offers in the mail with a card attached
- The enclosed letter barely convinced me it was real
So I did some searching on the web and found information about this and concluded that it was real. But others didn’t do the research and threw them away! That’s why I am writing this post. Help me get the word out by sharing this information!
The issuing bank name is MetaBank. I’m sorry, but even that sounded suspicious to me. The IRS does not send the check; the Department of the Treasury does. And there is a seal for the Department of the Treasury on the letter that states that. (But I was still wary.)
Still, I encourage you to do the research and not take my word for it.
Who Gets It?
Apparently anyone that received the first stimulus check will be getting a second one. As before, if you filed a tax return and made under $75,000 (single; $150,000 married couples) for the previous year you will receive another check.
The information claims that if the government didn’t have bank information then they may be sending you a card. Which is mystifying to me, because I had my bank information on my return. Oh well, no explaining our government!
The reason for this article is to make you aware that you should look for this rather innocuous envelope and not throw it away! Apparently people have done so! Mostly because they thought it was a scam. If you want to read about scams, especially against seniors, I wrote a few articles. See them here.
When Will I Get It?
These cards began to be issued by the IRS on January 7, 2021. My friend received his card today, January 18, 2021. The other forms of payment; i.e. direct deposit or checks, began to be sent on December 30, 2020.
I couldn’t find any firm date as to when you will receive this. I was one of the last people to receive the first check, about a month after everyone else. So, I imagine it could take up to a month to reach everyone.
You can check when you will receive your payment on a link at the IRS.
How Can I Use It?
This card is like a debit card. It has a chip and a number and the Visa logo. You have to activate it using the number on the documentation. When you do, you have to give other personal information. The recording then tells you how much is on the card.
The amount determined by the government for your stimulus payment will be in the account of the card. When you activate it, it will give you the balance. Then go ahead and use it like any debit card. You will be required to provide a PIN each time you use it.
You can use it like any debit card. Use it for purchases. Or transfer it to a bank. You can call the number on the back of the card to hear your balance.
Watch for the card in your mail. Don’t throw it away! Follow the instructions to activate and find your balance.
My friend went out and used his to buy groceries and some lunch. He says he is stimulating the economy! Ha Ha. I guess that’s what we’re supposed to do.
I hope this article has been helpful. Please leave any questions or comments in the section below. Or here is an article by cnet that was useful to me to answer further questions.