comscore Kokua Line: How to replace or return an Economic Impact Payment debit card | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: How to replace or return an Economic Impact Payment debit card

  • COURTESY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY
                                Sample of the prepaid debit card

    COURTESY U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY

    Sample of the prepaid debit card

Question: Please help my brother, who is 86 years old. He cut up the stimulus card thinking it was junk mail.

Q: How do I replace my stimulus card, which I accidentally threw away? I don’t have anything left, not the card or the envelope or anything. It was never activated.

A: You may request a free replacement through MetaBank Customer Serv­ice, according to the Internal Revenue Service. We’ve published the telephone number for Customer Service before, and heard from multiple readers who were confused by the voice prompts once they called the number. The IRS must be hearing from people, too, because the agency updated its website Wednesday to include step-by-step instructions for replacing an Economic Impact Payment prepaid debit card that has been lost or stolen:

>> Call 800-240-8100 and listen to the short greeting.

>> Choose your language (press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish).

>> Press 2 for assistance replacing a lost or stolen card.

>> Press 1 if you discarded or destroyed your card.

>> Enter the last six digits of the Social Security number of the person who is listed first on your tax return.

We tested the system up to that last step since we didn’t actually have a discarded card to replace. Note that the voice prompt calls for the last six digits of the Social Security number, not the usual four.

We emphasize that because numerous readers who have called Kokua Line complaining that they couldn’t activate EIP cards that they had recognized as stimulus payments were not following the instructions. As part of the activation process, a recipient has to enter the card number and the last six digits of their Social Security number.

EIP cards are sponsored by the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, managed by Money Network Financial and issued by Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank, the IRS says.

People eligible for stimulus funds may have received an EIP card as their second stimulus payment, even if they received a direct deposit to their bank account or a paper check in the first round.

The EIP Card was sent in a white envelope with a return address of “Economic Impact Payment Card,” and displays the U.S. Treasury Department seal. The card has the Visa name on the front and the issuing bank, MetaBank, on the back. Find more information at EIPcard.com.

Q: I received one of those stimulus cards, but I don’t need it. How do I return it so that the money goes back to the government, not to the bank handling the cards? Please don’t tell me to activate it anyway and give the money to someone who needs it. That is what my husband said to do, but that is not the point! I am trying to act on principle. The government should not be giving away money to people who don’t need it. Retirees like us are doing just fine.

A: We get far more requests for help replacing an Economic Impact Payment card than returning one, but you are not the only reader who has asked this question. Some do end up activating the card and giving the money to a charity or someone less fortunate, but that is clearly not your inclination, so here goes:

The IRS says that anyone who received their stimulus payment as a debit card and wants the money returned to the U.S. Treasury may send the EIP card, along with a note stating that they don’t want the payment, to Money Network Cardholder Services, 2900 Westside Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30004.

To be clear, this is how to return EIP prepaid debit cards only, not paper checks or direct deposits.

Mahalo

TheBus enforces the mask rules, which is good. But bandannas, which I usually wear, are no longer allowed. Mahalo to the fellow passenger who gave me a brand-new disposable mask to wear instead. She said she rides the bus every day and that she would rather give away masks — even though it costs her money — than risk being exposed to COVID-19. So she keeps a box of masks in her bag to share. Mahalo to her for being generous and prepared. — A reader


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 kokualine@staradvertiser.com.


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