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If you tossed your stimulus card, call MetaBank

I know we can’t be the only ones who thought those prepaid Visa cards with our stimulus payments from the U.S. Treasury looked like some sort of scam. What recourse do we have if we destroyed ours?

— Bob S., Medford

If for some reason you didn’t think that a prepaid debit card issued in a plain white envelope by a bank you’d likely never heard of was actually money from the government, we have some good news. You’re not out this round of stimulus payments.

That said, if it’s still an option, you’re probably going to prefer fishing that envelope out of the trash over the levels of potential automated phone tree frustration we’re about to lay out for those who say their prepaid Visa debit card containing their Economic Impact Payment was lost or damaged.

For those just tuning in, the EIP card was sponsored by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Service, which selected MetaBank, N.A. as its designated “financial agent” to distribute the funds granted trhough the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. The card was sent out in plain white envelopes that “prominently” displayed the U.S. Treasury seal and had “Economic Impact Payment Card” in the return address.

The envelopes also say in part, “Not a bill or an advertisement,” and inside you’ll find a prepaid Visa card issued by MetaBank.

Fun fact: the top question asked when you search Google about the bank is, “Is MetaBank a real bank?” Yes!

If you lost or damaged your card, replacing it won’t involve any government bureaucracy. Instead, the IRS recommends that you contact MetaBank Customer Service to replace what the government calls your Economic Impact Payment or EIP card.

That number for MetaBank is 1-800-240-8100, according to the IRS website. From there you’ll want to select your language, then choose option 2 from the main menu and finally enter the last six digits of the Social Security number of the person who is listed first on your tax return.

Once you’ve finally got your card, you’ll find more information and how-to videos for things like activating your card and checking your balance at www.eipcard.com.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.