Some Stimulus Payments Coming Via Debit Cards

Some of the remaining COVID-19 stimulus payments are being distributed via prepaid debit cards.

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are sending approximately 8 million additional Economic Impact Payments via prepaid debit card as the agencies work to distribute the remaining payments for the latest COVID-19 relief bill.

The first round of stimulus payments were distributed via direct deposit and began going out just before the end of 2020.

Individuals who did not get a payment via direct deposit should watch their mail for either a paper check or a prepaid debit card. The prepaid debit card, called the Economic Impact Payment card, is sponsored by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service and is issued by Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank®, N.A. The IRS does not determine who receives a prepaid debit card.

Taxpayers should note that the form of payment for the second mailed EIP may be different than the first mailed EIP. Some people who received a paper check last time might receive a prepaid debit card this time and vice versa.

Who is Eligible to Receive a Payment?

The IRS states:

Generally, U.S. citizens and resident aliens who are not eligible to be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s income tax return are eligible for this second payment. Eligible individuals will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment of up to $600 for individuals or $1,200 for married couples and up to $600 for each qualifying child. Generally, if you have adjusted gross income for 2019 up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns and surviving spouses, you will receive the full amount of the second payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced. 

Taxpayers can check the status of their payments using the Get My Payment on the website.

Payments are Automatic

The IRS reminded taxpayers that the payments are automatic and that they should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions:

Payments are automatic for eligible taxpayers who filed a 2019 tax return, those who receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who didn’t file a tax return. 

Payments are also automatic for anyone who successfully registered for the first payment online at using the agency’s Non-Filers tool by November 21, 2020 or who submitted a simplified tax return that has been processed by the IRS.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.