IRS says 1 in 4 stimulus cards haven’t been activated. What to do if you haven’t gotten yours

The United States Treasury Department says that as of June 17, 1 in 4 stimulus debit cards have not been activated, meaning that they may not have arrived yet or may have accidentally been discarded.

News 12 Staff

Jul 3, 2020, 12:45 AM

Updated 1,391 days ago

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The United States Treasury Department says that as of June 17, 1 in 4 stimulus debit cards have not been activated, meaning that they may not have arrived yet or may have accidentally been discarded.
Prepaid stimulus cards can be worth up to $3,400 for a family of four. But some families have mistaken the cards for junk mail and thrown them away.
The Internal Revenue Service says that there is a simple solution for anyone who believes that they may have discarded their stimulus cards – call the toll-free number 800-240-8100 and select option 2 from the main menu.
But News 12 spoke with someone who said that it wasn’t so easy.
“I was one of the many that just threw away my credit card that was the stimulus payment,” says Dolores. “I've called the IRS. It's so many different numbers and no help whatsoever. It was just a runaround or automated voice.”
Other News 12 viewers had similar experiences. Annette writes, “The customer service staff didn’t seem to know about the government debit cards. In fact, one of the support staff said I needed to contact IRS.gov. They actually said, ‘Where did you get this phone number?’”
News 12 asked the IRS about this and a spokesperson for the agency said that the toll-free number was to trace a card that hasn’t arrived. The spokesperson said that people should not request a trace unless they have been waiting at least four weeks.
But what should someone do who knows for a fact that they threw their card out?
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“People are really hurting and they are in need of this money,” says New Jersey Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman.
Coleman is one of a group of lawmakers who wrote to the Treasury Department with a list of concerns about the debit cards.
“Twenty-seven percent of the prepaid cards that have been issued – it’s like maybe a million people – haven’t been activated. We don’t know if it’s because they didn’t get it or that they got it and threw it away,” Coleman says.
The IRS says that the toll-free number 800-240-8100, option 2 is still the best way to track the cards, even if they have been discarded. The agency just asks citizens to be patient.
Annette tells News 12 that after two days of calling, her husband was finally transferred to someone who could help. The family’s new card arrived about a week later.


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