Question: We just received what appears to be a second-round stimulus debit card in the mail from Economic Impact Payment Card by Money Network issued by MetaBank, N.A. There is no amount shown in the letter; it gives a 1-800 number to call to activate the card. For the first stimulus round, we received a check. Please let us know if this is a legitimate company. There are so many scams that we are hesitant to set up a PIN to activate the card.
Answer: Stimulus payments are being issued as pre-paid debit cards like the one you describe. “EIP Cards are being sent in a white envelope that prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal. The EIP Card has the Visa name on the front of the card and the issuing bank name, MetaBank, N.A., on the back of the card. Each mailing will include instructions on how to securely activate and use the EIP Card,” according to the IRS.
You can check the website eipcard.com for more information to confirm that the one you received is genuine.
Kokua Line heard from more than a dozen readers Friday surprised to get a debit card because they received the first-round stimulus payment by direct deposit or check. The IRS said the method to pay a person could vary from the first round to the second.
Q: I still can’t get my payment status for the stimulus. What’s going on?
A: We’ve heard similar complaints from numerous readers who’ve been greeted with messages such as “Need More Information,” “Payment Status Not Available” or “Please Try Again Later,” when they tried to use the Get My Payment tool on the Internal Revenue Service website, at irs.gov (click on the “Get My Economic Impact Payment” icon). These messages are not interchangeable. Here’s the IRS’s explanation of each:
>> “Need More Information” means that you apparently are eligible for an Economic Impact Payment, but the IRS doesn’t have direct-deposit information to transmit your payment electronically. It’s too late to supply your bank’s information. You may receive a check or prepaid debit card by mail. If no payment is issued, you’ll need to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 federal income tax return.
>> “Payment Status Not Available” appears if you filed a 2019 federal income tax return but the IRS still hasn’t processed it (this happened to millions of U.S. taxpayers who filed paper returns last year); you’re not usually required to file a tax return and the IRS doesn’t have enough information to issue you an EIP; or you are not eligible. If the first two cases, you can claim by filing a federal tax return this year.
>> “Please Try Again Later” means that you’ve been locked out of the online tool for 24 hours. This occurs after a user logs in five times within 24 hours (log-ins are limited to avoid system overload) or has three failed log-in attempts after entering identifying information that does not match IRS records. Before the third strike, a general error message appears when a user enters information the IRS does not recognize.
Mahalo to our mail carrier in Niu Valley. Michelle does a marvelous job year-round. During the holiday season, she was delivering packages very early and returning to deliver regular mail later. On Dec. 23, I saw her during my daily walk at 7 a.m. At 3 p.m. that day, I fell outside my front door. Fortunately, she was coming to deliver my mail and helped me get up and showed great concern for my well being. She made sure I was OK before she continued on with her deliveries. The next day she asked my son how I was doing. Arigato, Michelle. I have much for which to be thankful. — A grateful 80+
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