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Economic Impact Payments

As you may know, I recently voted to authorize direct payments of $1,200 to folks across America.

This cash will help stabilize the economy and ease the burden of COVID-19.




Your prepaid debit card – known as the Economic Impact Payment Card – and instructions for activation and use will arrive in a plain envelope marked with “Money Network Cardholder Services.”


EIP Card Envelope

(Image from WTOP News)




The envelope contains a VISA debit card loaded with the balance of your Economic Impact Payment and can be used at any retailer that accepts VISA debit cards. You can also obtain cash from in-network ATMs, transfer funds to your personal bank account, and check your balance online, by phone, or by app free of charge.


The prepaid debit card is an official, authorized debit card issued by the U.S. Treasury, and you’ll still receive the full amount of your Economic Impact Payment that you’re entitled to.


The VISA name will appear on the front of your card. The name of the issuing bank, MetaBank, is found on the back of your card. MetaBank is the official issuing authority of the U.S. Treasury. Below is what your Economic Impact Payment Card may look like:


EIP Card


To avoid scams, follow the instructions to activate your Economic Impact Payment Card carefully. Don’t give your PIN, your card number, or your Social Security Number to anyone. More tips to avoid scams are available on my Consumer Alert: COVID-19 Scams page.


If you have thrown away your Economic Impact Payment Card by accident, call 1-800-240-8100 to request a free replacement. Contact my office at (845) 561-1259 if you believe there are any errors with your card information.


More information about your Economic Impact Payment prepaid debit card can be found at EIPcard.com.


Who is eligible for Economic Impact Payments?


U.S. residents who are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible Social Security number with adjusted gross income up to:

  • $75,000 for individuals

  • $112,500 for head of household filers and

  • $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns

Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their AGI is between:

  • $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately

  • 112,500 and $136,500 for head of household

  • $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly

The amount of the reduced payment will be based upon the taxpayers specific adjusted gross income.
Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security, Railroad Retirement, disability or veterans' benefits as well as taxpayers who do not make enough money to normally have to file a tax return will receive a payment. This also includes those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from certain benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income benefits.
Retirees who receive either Social Security retirement or Railroad Retirement benefits will also receive payments automatically.

In order to receive a payment, you need:

          - A valid Social Security number

          - Not to be claimed as a dependent

          - Income under $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a household


The IRS launched two new portals to check if you qualify, confirm the status of your refund, or update your information:


1. The first portal—Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info—was launched on April 10 for individuals who are not required to file tax returns.
2. A second portal—Get My Payment— allows taxpayers to obtain information about their economic impact payment.

1. Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here


If you don’t file taxes, use the "Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here" application to provide simple information so you can get your payment. 


You should use this application if:

  • You did not file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return because your gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples). This includes people who had no income.

  • You weren’t required to file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return for other reasons.


Do not use this application if you receive the benefits below. If you receive these benefits, we already have your information and you will receive $1,200.

  • Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivor benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • Railroad Retirement and Survivor Benefits

Answers to more frequently asked questions can be found here.



2. Get My Payment


The new Get My Payment site is now in operation.

In situations where payment status is not available, the app will respond with “Status Not Available”.  The IRS reminds users you may receive this message for one of the following reasons:

  • If you are not eligible for a payment (see IRS.gov on who is eligible and who is not eligible)
  • If you are required to file a tax return and have not filed in tax year 2018 or 2019.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that Get My Payment data is updated once per day, so there’s no need to check back more frequently.


ATTN: SSA, RRB Form 1099, SSI, and VA benefit recipients

  • Recipients of VA benefits and their beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments from VA will receive a $1,200 Economic Impact Payment with no further action needed on their part.  Timing on the payments is still being determined.
  • Earlier this month, the IRS took a similar action to ensure those receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement benefits can receive automatic payments of $1,200. While these groups receive Forms 1099, many in this group don’t typically file tax returns. Many people in these groups are expected to see the automatic $1,200 payments at the end of April, with SSI payments expected to start in early May.
  • For those who receive these benefits – including VA, Social Security retirement or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits or SSI – and have a qualifying child, an extra step needed to claim $500 for children. Register here http://irs.gov/nonfilereip #COVIDreliefIRS by April 22 for earlier delivery. If you missed the April 22 deadline, your payment will be $1,200, and, by law, the additional $500-per-eligible-child amount will be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020, so it won’t be received until next year.


FAQ: I think the amount of my Economic Impact Payment is incorrect. What can I do?

If you did not receive the full amount to which you believe you are entitled, you will be able to claim the additional amount when you file your 2020 tax return.  This is particularly important for individuals who may be entitled to the additional $500 per qualifying child dependent payments. For VA and SSI recipients who don’t have a filing requirement and have a child, they need to use the Non-Filer tool (link) on IRS.gov by May 5 in order to have the $500 added automatically to their $1,200 Economic Impact payment. 


Does someone who has died qualify for the Payment?

No. A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments. Return the entire Payment unless the Payment was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the Payment, in which case, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the decedent. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000. 


Does someone who is a resident alien qualify for the Payment? 

A person who is a non-resident alien in 2020 is not eligible for the Payment. A person who is a qualifying resident alien with a valid SSN is eligible for the Payment only if he or she is a qualifying resident alien in 2020 and could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer for 2020. Aliens who received a Payment but are not qualifying resident aliens for 2020 should return the Payment to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments.


Does someone who is incarcerated qualify for the Payment? (added May 5, 2020)

 No. A Payment made to someone who is incarcerated should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments. A person is incarcerated if he or she is described in one or more of clauses (i) through (v) of Section 202(x)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 402(x)(1)(A)(i) through (v)). 

For a Payment made with respect to a joint return where only one spouse is incarcerated, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the incarcerated spouse. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.

What should I do to return an Economic Impact Payment (EIP)?

You should return the payment as described below:

If the payment was a paper check:

  1. Write "Void" in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
  2. Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
  3. Don't staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
  4. Include a note stating the reason for returning the check. 

If the payment was a paper check and you have cashed it, or if the payment was a direct deposit:

  1. Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
  2. Write on the check/money order made payable to “U.S. Treasury” and write 2020EIP, and the taxpayer identification number (social security number,  or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check.
  3. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP.

For your paper check, here are the IRS mailing addresses to use based on the state:

Brookhaven Refund Inquiry Unit
5000 Corporate Ct.
Mail Stop 547
Holtsville, NY 11742


Will the IRS contact me about my Payment? (updated May 8, 2020)

The IRS will not call, email, or text you about your Payment. The IRS will not contact you to request personal or bank account information. Watch out for websites and social media attempts that request money or personal information and for schemes tied to Economic Impact Payments.

The IRS urges taxpayers to visit IRS.gov – the official IRS website – to protect against scam artists. The IRS has issued a warning about coronavirus-related scams.
For security reasons, a letter about the Payment will be mailed to each recipient’s last known address within 15 days after the Payment is made.


If I owe tax, or have a Payment agreement with the IRS, or owe other federal or state debts or past-due child support, will my Payment be reduced or offset? (updated May 8, 2020)

No, with one exception. The Payment may have been offset only by past-due child support. The Bureau of the Fiscal Service will send you a notice if an offset occurs.

If you are married filing jointly and you filed an injured spouse claim with your 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if you haven’t filed your 2019 tax return), half of the total Payment will be sent to each spouse and your spouse’s Payment will be offset only for past-due child support. There is no need to file another injured spouse claim for the Payment.
The IRS is aware that in some instances a portion of the payment sent to a spouse who filed an injured spouse claim with his or her 2019 tax return (or 2018 tax return if no 2019 tax return has been filed) has been offset by the non-injured spouse’s past-due child support. The IRS is working with the Bureau of Fiscal Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement, to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. If you filed an injured spouse claim with your return and are impacted by this issue, you do not need to take any action. The injured spouse will receive their unpaid half of the total payment when the issue is resolved. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

If you receive certain benefits, your Economic Impact Payment will automatically go on your Direct Express Card.

If you have certain benefits deposited to your Direct Express card and didn't file a 2018 or 2019 tax return or provide information to the IRS to get an Economic Impact Payment, your payment will be deposited to that card. If your benefits are deposited to a bank account or mailed, you will receive your payment that way. These benefits include:

  • Social Security retirement, survivor or disability
  • Railroad Retirement
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • VA Compensation
  • Pension

If you filed a return or used the Non-Filers tool to add your spouse or qualifying children, you can't receive your payment on your Direct Express card. You can select a bank account for direct deposit or leave bank information blank to receive a check by mail.


Answers to more frequently asked questions can be found here.