Open every white envelope with a blue debit card inside: It could be your latest stimulus payment

By WWJ Newsradio 950

(WWJ) Americans who receive their stimulus payments in the form of a prepaid Visa debit card should know that it's real, and not a scam.

That message comes from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, as more second round $600 payments are being disbursed by the federal government.

“As many Americans await their second stimulus payment, it’s important to keep in mind that such payment may be disbursed in three different ways – direct deposit, paper check or prepaid debit card,” said Nessel. “Mailed stimulus payments will arrive in a white envelope with the U.S. Department of Treasury seal. Michiganders screening their mail for scam offers should watch for that to ensure their stimulus funds are not accidentally discarded.”

The preloaded Visa debit card displays the Visa logo on the front and the issuing bank name – MetaBank, N.A. -- on the back. Each mailing will also include instructions on how to activate and use the card.

Those who receive their stimulus payment via prepaid debit card can make purchases online or in-store wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. Recipients also have the option to transfer funds to a personal bank account and check their card balance online via mobile app or phone.

The debit card provided by the federal government also includes certain protections against fraud, loss and other errors, the AG said.

To quality for this round of payments, U.S. residents need a Social Security number. Individuals earning up to $75,000, and couples earning up to $150,000 will receive the full amount. After that, the amount of the check then decreases by $5 for every $100 of income above those thresholds, phasing out completely at $87,000 for individuals and $174,000 for couples.

Dependents under age 17 are also eligible for $600 checks, and there’s no cap on the number a household can receive.

Income is based on 2019 tax returns.

For more information on how to use the preloaded Visa debit card, or to confirm the status of a stimulus payment, visit the IRS website

Meanwhile, more generous payments could be on the way soon — if approved by Congress. At this point, however, it's unclear if quite as many people would qualify.

Both Republican and Democratic senators have raised the idea of possibly making $1,400 direct payments to Americans more tailored to recipients based on need.

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