Question: My husband and I have not yet received a third stimulus check and are concerned ours is lost because it seems as if everyone else has received theirs. For the second payment, ours also seemed to come later than most and was in the form of a debit card which we have not used yet because we don’t go out much during the pandemic. When we are due a refund on our federal taxes in any given year, we have them send it to us in a check — not a direct payment to our bank account. Can you tell us if you think we should be concerned, and, if so, what the web address and/or phone number is to trace the missing payment?
Answer: Your questions raise several issues, so we’ll take them one at a time. We are receiving similar questions from numerous other readers.
Third-round Economic Impact Payments, also known as EIP3 or stimulus payments, are being sent in phases. They are still being issued. If you haven’t received one yet, it doesn’t mean you won’t, assuming that you are otherwise eligible. Direct deposits generally were issued first, followed by mailed checks and prepaid debit cards.
You can check your status using the “Get My Payment” tool at irs.gov.
If “Get My Payment” indicates you should have already received an EIP3, you can start a payment trace after a certain amount of time has passed. The time frames vary according to the payment method.
For direct deposits, the IRS won’t start a payment trace until at least five days from the stated deposit date and after you’ve confirmed with your bank that the deposit was not received. For mailed payments, a trace won’t begin until four weeks after the payment was mailed to a standard U.S. address, or six weeks if you have a forwarding address on file with the post office, according to the IRS.
If “Get My Payment” indicates you meet any of those conditions, follow the instructions at 808ne.ws/faq3 to start a payment trace by mail or fax; see Topic J, “Payment Issued but Lost, Stolen, Destroyed or Not Received.” Or you can call the IRS at 800-919-9835.
Some readers who assumed they would receive an EIP3 were surprised to learn they aren’t eligible this round, which phases out quickly based on income. Individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 receive the full payment, but those with AGI of $80,000 and up get nothing. For married couples filing jointly, those figures are $150,000 and $160,000.
Regarding the prepaid debit card you received as your second-round stimulus payment: Your EIP card should have a “valid through” date embossed on the front. If you don’t empty the card by that date, you’ll have to call customer service at 1-800-240-8100 to have the balance issued to you as a check.
Rather than wait for that, you can transfer the card’s funds to your bank account now; there are multiple ways to do so, at no cost to you, according to Money Network, which issues the cards for the U.S. government. People who receive the EIP cards as third-round payments may transfer the funds in the same manner.
You must activate your EIP card before transferring the money. You’ll also need your bank account number and routing number.
You can find the full directions at eipcard.com, but here is a summary of three ways to transfer the money:
>> Online transfer: Register at eipcard.com. Click on “Login” and “Register Now.” Follow the steps to create your user ID and password. Select “Transfers in U.S.” under Move Money Out. Follow the steps to set up your destination bank account before completing the ACH transfer.
>> Mobile app: Download the Money Network Mobile App and register for mobile access by clicking “New User?” Follow the steps to create your user ID and password. Click the top left menu and click “Send Money to an External Bank Account” under Move Money Out. Follow the steps to set up your destination bank account before completing the ACH transfer.
>> By phone: Call 1-800-240-8100 and follow the prompts to authenticate with the Interactive Voice Response Unit. Once authenticated, follow the prompts to set up your destination bank account before completing the ACH transfer.
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