Second Stimulus Check: How Payments Could Be Issued Via EIP Cards

With all the back and forth, Americans across the country are wondering if lawmakers will ever settle on a second stimulus check plan. But there could be a chance the next payments will be issued via EIP cards. Per a report from CNET, the first round of stimulus payments — issued through the CARES Act — were sent out to about four million citizens in the form of Economic Impact Payment (EIP) cards. The card works just like a prepaid debit card and contains only the amount of money designated by the details of the bill.

Many other people received their stimulus payments via direct deposit to their bank account, as the IRS — who was designated to issue the payments — often already has that information on file. Others were sent paper checks as the IRS likely did not have bank account information on file for them. The outlet further notes that when it comes to those who received their payment in the form of the EIP cards, there was an extra circumstance involved that was not the case for those who were sent paper checks: their tax return was processed by IRS service centers in either Andover, Massachusetts, or Austin, Texas. The outlet explains that it is not clear why this was a factor, but stated that it has reached out to the Treasury department for more information.

Ultimately, once a potential second coronavirus relief bill is approved and signed into law — if it includes a second round of stimulus checks for Americans — however, your payment was sent the first time is most likely how you will be sent your second. CNET adds how those who were sent EIP cards had to wait a little longer than those who had direct deposit, which could potentially happen again. Also, there was an issue with some people throwing out their EIP card the first time around, as they believed it to be junk mail.

You may still have time to get your potential payment sent via direct deposit, however. The IRS has a tool on its website called the "Get My Payment portal." Here, citizens can enter their bank account information, which will allow the IRS to send the payment through direct deposit, rather than sending a paper check or EIP card.