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Don't Toss That Envelope From Omaha -- It Has Your Federal Stimulus Prepaid Debit Card

Federal stimulus debit card Federal stimulus debit card
Federal stimulus debit card Photo Credit: Jon Craig
The return address at top left, and an explanation inside the plain white envelope. The return address at top left, and an explanation inside the plain white envelope.
The return address at top left, and an explanation inside the plain white envelope. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

If a plain white envelope from Omaha, Nebraska arrives in the mail, don’t throw it away. It may be your federal stimulus payment.

Last week, the IRS and U.S. Treasury Department began mailing Economic Impact Payments as prepaid debit cards. In addition to a P.O. Box in Omaha, the return address says the letter is from "Money Network Cardholder Services."

Nearly 4 million Americans waiting for their slice of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act are expected to get their stimulus money in the form of an EIP Card, as opposed to a paper check signed by President Donald J. Trump.

The trouble is, the Visa VISA, +1.89% cards are being issued by MetaBank -- the Treasury’s financial agent. If they are decorated with gold and silver stars on the front, they are likely the stimulus debit card.

The cards were intended to speed the process of getting out payments. The federal government said it has already delivered stimulus payments totaling $239 billion to more than 140 million American taxpayers. 

The money has arrived in a variety of ways since April, including direct deposit to bank accounts, Direct Express prepaid debit cards connected to other federal programs like Social Security and by paper check in the regular mail.

Reports of people mistaking them for pre-approved credit-card junk mail or scams have been popping up across the nation. In some cases, people have even thrown away the debit cards containing their long-awaited stimulus money before they realized their mistake.

The prepaid debit cards allow recipients to make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted. Recipients can also receive cash from in-network ATMs and transfer funds to their personal bank accounts without a fee, although may apply if an out-of-network ATM is used.

The determination of which taxpayers received a debit card was made by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, a part of the Treasury Department that works with the IRS to handle distribution of the payments," according to an IRS statement released Wednesday  The IRS also posted these frequently asked questions about the debit cards. 

For $7.50, MetaBank will replace "lost or stolen" cards. The bank contact number is 800-240-8100.

UPDATE: Some taxpayers are now reporting that they have received multiple federal stimulus payments. See an article about it by by clicking here.

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