WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- About 4 million Americans are to receive their stimulus payments in the form of a prepaid debit card, which can be used to purchase and withdraw money through ATMs.
- MetaBank, the card provider, said that it would start distributing the card to eligible households.
- The Social Security department said a guideline on how to use cards would be provided along with the prepaid debit package.
According to the U.S Treasury Department, approximately 4 million Americans could get their economic stimulus payments soon via authorized prepaid debit cards.
The debit cards will be sent to people who weren’t able to give their banking details to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This includes low-income families not having bank accounts or taxpayers who don’t usually receive their refunds through direct account deposits.
From the time IRS began sending COVID-19 stimulus checks around April, roughly 140 million Americans got their payments. However, there are still around 10 million taxpayers that are yet to receive their payments.
The economic package is still a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which stared at the end of March.
Several taxpayers who haven’t received their money yet have voiced out concerns over the distribution process. Since the IRS had no choice but to close its contact office due to the outbreak, taxpayers could not get in touch with an agency officer.
To address the backlog, on Monday, the IRS said it would be deploying additional 3,500 workers who will soon respond to queries about the payments.
The IRS called the debit card as the Economic Impact Payment (EIP) Cards, and around 4 million taxpayers will receive it in place of a direct bank account deposit or check.
Similar to a typical debit card, it can be used to pay for goods, get funds through linked ATMs, and event transfer cash to personal or other bank accounts without extra charges. Treasury Department also added that the cards would be honored at any establishments where Visa cards can be accepted.
The agency added the cards are expected to be distributed by MetaBank beginning this week, and it will come with guidelines on how to activate and utilize the card.
Since the announcement of the economic package distribution, there have been questions of who is qualified to receive the payment and when will the checks will be given.
The Social Security Administration published a 7-page guideline this month for its recipients, which includes a detailed explanation of how its members can receive payments.
According to the Social Security Administration, for several Americans under the Supplemental Security Income program, provided by Social Security for low-income disabled or aged people, the stimulus payments are likely to be sent within this month, either via direct deposit or the mail.
Source: CBS News