The U.S. Federal Government has begun distributing Economic Impact Payments (also known as “stimulus checks”) to eligible Americans. These cash payments are intended to provide some level of financial relief and support to individuals and families as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress in late March.
Q: How does the Economic Impact Payments program work?
A: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is handling the distribution of Economic Impact Payments. The timing and amount of the payments are determined by the IRS as well. They plan to send payments in phases, with completion of all phases sometime in July 2020.
Using information that the IRS already has on file for each eligible individual and family, payments will be made by direct deposit to a bank account a recipient has most recently used to receive a tax refund or Social Security payment. Those who do not have direct deposit information on file with the IRS will receive their payment by a check mailed to the address on file with the IRS. (Banks will not provide the IRS any information about your accounts or addresses.)
Q: How do I know if I am eligible, and if I am, how will I receive my payment?
A: You should contact the IRS. Details about eligibility as well as how to calculate, request or receive a payment are available on the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center website. For information about your payment’s status or the type of payment you may be scheduled to receive, the IRS Get My Payment website is helpful. Banks do not have any information about the amount, type of payment or the date you will receive it.
Q: If my payment is coming by direct deposit, how will I know when it is actually in my American Bank account?
A: Use our Personal Online Banking or Mobile Banking systems to check your account. These are the fastest ways to determine the status of your payment. Direct deposits post on the effective date we are given by the Treasury.
Q: If a paper check will be mailed to me, what is the fastest way to get the funds into my account?
A: Download the Personal Mobile Banking app, if you don’t already have it, to deposit the check directly to your account without making a trip to the bank. You simply take a picture of the front and back of the check, select the account where you want the payment deposited and enter the amount. Mobile Deposits are subject to verification and funds are not available for immediate withdrawal.
If you have to come to the bank, our Motor Banks are open regular hours to accept your deposit.
Q: What if I need to get cash from my direct deposit or check?
A: Use your Check Card at any American Bank ATM to withdraw cash with no fee. Visit our locations listing to find the ATM closest to you. Your Check Card can also be used for online or in-person purchases at any merchant that accepts MasterCard®. Using your Check Card is safer than carrying cash. If you don’t have a Check Card and wish to receive one, contact Client Services at (800) 257-8316.
Q: How can I protect myself from fraud?
A: Know when to expect your payment, how it will be arriving and verify your bank account information on file with the IRS by visiting the IRS website. Make sure we have your current contact information on file. Use account alerts within online and mobile banking to monitor activity on your accounts.
As we continue through these challenging times, it’s important for you to know that we are here for you. To keep up on all our communications surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the Newsroom on our website. Thank you for being our valued client.