Most Americans have already received their economic stimulus payments from the IRS, either through direct deposit or by paper check. However, for Americans without banking information on file, the IRS announced they plan to deliver prepaid debit cards in lieu of the stimulus check.
The IRS estimates around 4 million individuals will receive a prepaid debit card in the coming weeks. Here’s what you need to know about them.
Why Prepaid Debit Cards?
The US Treasury has already delivered more than $239 billion in relief payments to Americans by direct deposit, paper checks, and Direct Express card accounts.
The Treasury-sponsored EIP, or Economic Impact Payment card, is yet another way the IRS is administering stimulus payments to Americans. EIP cards are being sent to Americans without bank information on file with the IRS. Further, they must have had their tax return processed by either the Andover or Austin IRS Service Center.
The EIP cards will come from Metabank, and will be securely mailed starting this week. Each card will include instructions on how to activate and use the card.
Who Can Expect a Stimulus Check?
In efforts to provide economic relief during the Coronavirus pandemic, Congress passed a $2 trillion economic stimulus plan. The goal of this plan was to send Americans money to help them through times of hardship, including potential job loss.
American tax filers are eligible to receive $1200 in government money. Households with children will receive an additional $500 per child.
To qualify for the stimulus check, you have to meet a few qualifications. First, you must have filed taxes in either 2018 or 2019, or be a recipient of Social Security benefits.
Your adjusted gross income also determines your eligibility to receive a check. For single Americans, you can expect to receive the full $1200 stimulus check if your income does not exceed $75,000. If your income is above $75,000, but below $99,000, you can expect to receive a partial check.
Married couples will both receive $1200 if their combined income does not exceed $150,000. They will receive reduced stimulus payments if their combined income is between $150,000 and $198,000.
And lastly, single parents who are head of household will receive the full $1200 stimulus check if their income is below $112,500.
What to Do With Your Stimulus Check
Whether you receive your relief through debit card, direct deposit or paper check, there are dozens of uses for your money. Here are some ideas to get you started.
If you are in a position to be able to spend your relief money, then go ahead and do so. After all, that’s what it is for – to help stimulate the economy.
So, don’t hesitate to spend money in your local community. After all, plenty of small businesses are in dire need of income right now.
If your financial position was relatively unaffected by COVID, then you may choose to donate your stimulus check.
Check with your local Chamber of Commerce to find an organization in need.
Lastly, while the intent behind the stimulus checks is to help stimulate the economy, it’s still okay to save the money for the future. If you’ve suffered a job layoff or other financial hardship, then you likely are living frugally during this time. You are likely only spending on the necessities – and that’s okay. Use the stimulus check to take care of yourself and your family.
Rachel Slifka is a freelance writer and human resources professional. She is passionate about helping fellow millennials find success with their finances and careers. Read more by checking out her website at RachelSlifka.com.