The IRS Is Issuing Some Stimulus Payments by Debit Card; Some Are Being Mistaken as Junk Mail and Thrown Out

Article Highlights:

  • Junk Mail
  • Stimulus Payment
  • Debit Card

If you are like most Americans, you probably receive tons of junk mail, which you tend to discard without reading. However, if you haven’t already received your stimulus payment from the federal government, it’s important to look through those envelopes carefully. The government has begun sending out its stimulus payments on debit cards mailed in plain white envelopes, which some people have discarded, thinking it was junk mail.

The Treasury has decided to send the 4 million or so individuals still waiting for their stimulus payments a Visa debit card, issued by a financial institution that the general public is generally not familiar with, in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services, also a name few will recognize. After years of counseling by the IRS and others, people have become very diligent in watching out for scams and false advertising, and mail from an unknown source in a plain envelope appears to be just another advertisement for a credit card or, even worse, a scam. As a result, many people discarded the envelope, not realizing that it contained their stimulus payment.

The taxpayers who would receive a debit card were determined by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, a part of the Treasury Department that works with the IRS to handle the distribution of the payments.

The IRS website does caution that some payments will be issued on a prepaid debit card mailed in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services. The Visa name will appear on the front of the card; the back of the card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A. The information included with the card will explain that the card is the recipient’s Economic Impact Payment Card.

For those that did discard or lose the card, they can request a replacement card through MetaBank’s customer service department by calling 800-240-8100 and selecting option #2. There is no charge for the replacement card, and you don’t need to know the card number to obtain a replacement.

Bottom line: if you are still waiting for your stimulus payment, be careful not to throw it in the trash. If you have any questions, please contact us.