The U.S. Treasury’s attempt to quickly send out stimulus payments on pre-paid debit cards has hit a glitch: At least 788,000 cards have not been activated, and may have been thrown out.
The U.S. Treasury sent a letter to 1 in 5 recipients of stimulus payments on pre-paid debit cards, encouraging them to activate their stimulus cards, and providing instructions of what to do if they did trash cards by mistake, reports The Washington Post.
Nearly 4 million stimulus payments were mailed on prepaid debit cards, which arrived from a bank that many had never heard of, MetaBank, in envelopes devoid of any mention of the IRS or U.S. Treasury. (The envelopes were marked “Money Network Cardholder Services.”) Most people were expecting to receive their stimulus payments in the same form as previous tax refunds—either a direct deposit or a check in the mail. The debit card scheme was rolled out quickly, without alerting consumers to expect a card in the mail. The stimulus was authorized as part of the CARES Act, which provides a one-time payment $1,200 to most adults, and $500 per eligible children.
The cards are valid for three years, after which the funds will returned to the Treasury. If you think that you may have thrown out your stimulus card, you can call the card’s customer service line at 800-240-8100 to report the card lost and request a replacement.