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Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Treasury Department sends letters reminding people to activate stimulus debit cards

Question: I never got the stimulus and should be eligible. Maybe I got one of those cards in the mail and mistook it for junk mail (Kokua Line, June 5, But when I called the number to check, it sounded like a scam and I hung up. Are you sure it was the right number?

Answer: Yes, but you are not the only reader who has asked, put off by the forceful recorded greeting at 1-800-240-8100, which starts, “Thank you for calling Money Network. You received this EIP card because you were eligible for an economic impact payment, sometimes referred to as a stimulus payment.” The recording goes on to explain how to reach customer service to replace a card, but by then you and others had hung up, worried that you’d reached a telemarketing scheme or outright scam rather than a legitimate purveyor of government funds.

For whatever reason, so many people across the United States have not activated the debit cards holding their stimulus payments that the Treasury Department is sending out letters reminding them to do so. Since you are not certain whether you received a card, be on the lookout for such a letter or call the customer service number to follow up. Here’s what the IRS announced Thursday:

“Taxpayers who were mailed a debit card for their Economic Impact Payment but haven’t activated it yet will receive a letter in early July reminding them that they can activate it to access their money or obtain a free replacement card if needed.

“The debit cards were originally mailed in May and June to about 4 million people who were eligible for an Economic Impact Payment and would have otherwise received a check. The debit cards were issued by MetaBank, N.A. and came in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services.

“For the reminder mailing, the Treasury Department logo will be visible on the envelope and letter. The left front of the envelope will clearly include this notation: ‘Not a bill or an advertisement. Important information about your Economic Impact Payment.’ The inside of the letter will include instructions for people who haven’t activated their card yet and includes a picture of what the debit card looks like.

“People expecting EIP payments should look for this mailing and activate their debit cards as soon as possible. Once the card is activated, people can transfer the funds to a bank account, get cash surcharge-free at an in-network ATM or use it other ways.”

For more information, see and

Q: Thanks for telling how to use the computers at the library now (Kokua Line, June 25,, but no weekend hours is a problem.

A: The Hawaii State Public Library System has heard directly from many patrons like you and has expanded its appointment hours accordingly. As of Monday, numerous branches are offering evening and/or weekend hours, by appointment.

The libraries are not fully open — you can’t walk right in — but patrons can reserve times to pick up books they selected ahead of time (Library Take Out) or to use an internet-connected computer (Computer Time at the Library), as well as other limited services.

For more information, see or call your local library.


Mahalo to the Department of Parks and Recreation. Usually during the summertime, the grassy areas of Ala Moana beach park are brown and dried out, but now it’s lush and green. The new irrigation system is working nicely. Now if they can hurry up and get the Magic Island parking lot reopened sooner than the end of the year, everything would be fine. — Signed, Thankful to Be in Hawaii

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

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