Millions of Coronavirus Stimulus Payments to Be Issued on Prepaid Debit Cards


The Treasury Department said on Monday that it will begin issuing some stimulus checks via prepaid debit cards in the mail.

CNN reports that about 4 million people will be mailed a debit card with their stimulus payment pre-loaded. The payments will be issued by this new method to those who do not have bank account information on file with the IRS. The group includes those who did not sign up for direct deposit while doing their taxes or on the IRS website.

The debit card payments could mean that these people can access their money quicker than by waiting for a check in the mail.

Unlike a paper check, the Visa debit card can be activated immediately. It can also be used directly to make purchases, get cash at an ATM, or transfer the funds into a bank account without paying any fees, according to the Treasury.

“Treasury and the IRS have been working with unprecedented speed to issue Economic Impact Payments to American families. Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use, and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “Recipients can immediately activate and use the cards safely.”

The debit cards will either contain the $1,200 per person payment or up to $2,400 per couple. Under the $2.2 trillion bill called the CARES Act, only individuals making below $75,000 and married couples earning under $150,000 will be eligible for the one-time payment.

Payments will decrease by $5 for every $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 threshold. Those who make more than $99,000 individually or over $198,000 combined do not qualify.

The Treasury has already sent out over 140 million stimulus payments over the past five weeks, which means that 10 million are still awaiting theirs.

Those who opted to receive their 2018 or 2019 tax refund via direct deposit were among the first to score a stimulus check as part of the bill, which aims to help Americans through these uncertain times.

The IRS revealed it was following a timeline of prioritizing low-income Americans, starting with taxpayers who have an adjusted gross income of $10,000.

House Democrats introduced another stimulus bill last week, which would offer an additional $1,200 in stimulus payments per individual. The legislation has made its way to the Senate where it faces opposition.

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