Your IRS stimulus check will come in the mail — and you can track it to your home


Stimulus check or junk mail? Know what to look for so you don’t toss your new payment in the trash.

Angela Lang/CNET

If you didn’t receive your third stimulus check that you qualified for as a direct deposit by March 24, don’t expect to now. Instead, look for your $1,400 maximum payment to arrive in the mail as a paper check or an EIP debit card. Here’s how to track it when it’s on the way and we’ll explain what exactly to look for.

With that said, keep a close eye on your mailbox, but do know that just because you qualified for the first two checks doesn’t mean you’ll get the third — there are more stringent income limits this time. However, the new stimulus bill expands age restrictions for dependents so more people get more money. Here’s how to calculate your total payment.

If you’re absolutely certain you meet the qualifying requirements and still haven’t received your third payment, we’ll let you in on how to determine when will it arrive. In fact, you can track your stimulus payment right to your mailbox, using services from both the IRS and the US Postal Service together. We’ll walk you through it. (By the way, here’s what we know so far about a fourth stimulus check.) This story has been updated.

Get my status: Use this IRS Get My Payment tool

The IRS has its own stimulus check tracker tool, which contains information about your payment schedule, when your money will arrive and how, and if there’s been an error processing your payment. The IRS tool is called Get My Payment, and it can be useful if you’re not sure if you’re actually eligible — or if you just want to make sure the IRS knows you are. 

A downside to Get My Payment is that it doesn’t give you an exact date, however, for when to expect your funds to arrive at your doorstep. That’s where a free USPS service comes in. Since all stimulus checks will be arriving via snail mail after March 24, a service called Informed Delivery will be the next step for tracking your stimulus check. Read on for how to use the USPS service to monitor your payment’s arrival in the mail. And here’s how to tell the IRS and USPS if you’ve moved.

What should I be looking for in the mail?

According to the IRS, paper checks will be in a white envelope from the US Department of the Treasury and will be labeled as an Economic Impact Payment in the memo field.

EIP cards will also come in a white envelope from the Department of the Treasury. It’s a Visa card and the issuing bank is MetaBank, N.A., which is displayed on the back. There will be information included with the card that will explain it’s an Economic Impact Payment.

United States Treasury economic impact stimulus checks

This is what the new paper stimulus check will look like.

The USPS Informed Delivery service is your new go-to

Informed Delivery is a free mail-tracking service from the USPS that automatically scans your letters and can alert you with an image each time a letter with your name on it is about to be delivered — such as your third stimulus payment. 

When the USPS runs mailed letters through its automated mail sorting equipment, it automatically creates a digital image of the front of all letter-size mail. Anyone who signs up for Informed Delivery can access the information by asking the USPS to notify you when each piece of mail with your name on it is on the way. Note that it can take three days to activate your account.

As part of the program, you’ll receive an email each morning, Monday through Saturday, to notify you of any mail being delivered to you. You’ll also see a grayscale image of the front of the letter. Informed Delivery has free apps for Android and iPhone you can also use. 

Just be aware that signing up means you’ll see all your mail that’s scanned by the post office, not just your stimulus check. You can cancel the service at any time. 

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Sign up for Informed Delivery to track your stimulus check until it arrives in your mailbox

Informed Delivery has some limitations. For example, it will work with many residential and personal post office box addresses but not businesses. It also won’t work for some residential buildings where the postal service hasn’t yet identified each unit. 

To check whether Informed Delivery is available in your area, head to the Postal Service’s Informed Delivery page.

1. Tap Sign Up for Free.

2. Enter your mailing address and confirm it’ll work with the service; then accept the terms and conditions and tap Continue

3. On the next page, choose your username, password and security questions. Then, enter your contact information and tap Continue.

4. On the next page, you’ll need to verify your identity. Tap Verify identity online if you want to receive a verification code on your phone or tap Request invitation code by mail if you want USPS to mail you a code. You may also have the option to visit a post office to verify your identity in person.

For more details, here’s how to calculate how much you’ll get, everything you need to know about the third stimulus check and when you can expect your payment to arrive in your bank account. Here are three ways the stimulus bill can bring you more money, and all the tax breaks you could receive.