The Treasury Department announced it will deliver millions of coronavirus response payments through prepaid debit cards this week.
The department issued a release Monday saying the debit cards are a safe and secure way to make sure Americans are getting the money they desperately need.
“Treasury and the IRS have been working with unprecedented speed to issue Economic Impact Payments to American families,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the release. “Prepaid debit cards are secure, easy to use, and allow us to deliver Americans their money quickly. Recipients can immediately activate and use the cards safely.”
More than 140 million Americans have received payments, totaling $239 billion. Most of the payments were either by check or direct deposit. Mnuchin said about 10 million more Americans qualify for payments but have yet to receive them. According to the Treasury, about 4 million people will get prepaid Visa debit cards this week.
“EIP Cards are being distributed to qualified individuals without bank information on file with the IRS, and whose tax return was processed by either the Andover or Austin IRS Service Center,” the Treasury statement said.
The debit cards, issued by MetaBank, will also come with instructions on how to activate the cards. Only one card will be provided for each family and the funds can be taken out as cash at an ATM, transferred into a bank account or the card can be used anywhere Visa is accepted.
The first round of relief payments was largely based on adjusted gross income reported in 2018 and 2019 tax returns. Anyone with a Social Security number who isn’t claimed on a tax return as a dependent, earns less than $99,000 as a single filer, $198,000 as a joint filer, and $136,500 as a head of household will receive a payment.
Couples filing jointly will receive $2,400, and individual filers can get up to $1,200, plus an extra $500 per child under age 17.