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When will my stimulus check arrive in the mail? 2 ways you can track it through the USPS

by Teri Crews (2020-06-04)

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2 months agoWith Informed Delivery, you can see when your stimulus check has been mailed.

Angela Lang/CNET

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Did you know that the US Postal Service will show you a picture of your IRS stimulus check once it's been processed in the mail? This is a neat, easy and completely free way to see when your payment is coming. Is there a catch? Not really, but you do need to know that you're eligible for the stimulus check, capped at $1,200. And it might help to try tracking your payment through the IRS portal first to make sure it's really arriving through the mail.

Tracking your stimulus check through the US mail is also convenient if you experience any of these common problems with the IRS portal. A word of warning: If you'd rather set up direct deposit with the IRS, you need to do so by Wednesday, May 13 at 12 p.m. ET, or else a paper check will be your only option.

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Tracking your mail starts with a free US Postal Service app and a service known as Informed Delivery, which can notify you when your check is about to arrive.

Read more: Will there be a second round of stimulus checks? What's being said now

Now playing: Watch this: Where's my stimulus check?


Make sure you're eligible for Informed Delivery
When the USPS runs mail through its automated mail sorting equipment, it creates a digital image of the front of all letter-size mail, and that includes your stimulus check. The Informed Delivery program uses this digitally captured information to notify you when each piece of mail is on the way. 

The service is available to many residential and personal PO box addresses but not businesses. It also won't work for some multiunit buildings where the postal service hasn't yet identified each unit.

Here's how to check whether it's available in your area:

1. Head to the Postal Service's Informed Delivery page and tap the Sign Up for Free button.

2. Enter your mailing address, and tap Continue. 

If the service is available, you can continue to set up an account.

Set up the Informed Delivery service
If you're eligible, here's how to set up your account.

1. On the Postal Service's Informed Delivery page, if you haven't yet, tap Sign Up for Free.

2. After you enter your mailing address and confirm it's in the service, accept the terms and conditions and tap Continue. 

3. On the next page, choose your username, password and security questions; enter your contact information; and then 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 the postal service to mail a code to you. If neither method works for you, may also be given the option to visit a post office to verify your identity in person.

Now playing: Watch this: How to file a tax extension during the COVID-19 pandemic


How to see your what's coming in the mail 
The IRS said it can take three business days to activate your account after you set it up. Once it's live, you will receive an email each morning Monday through Saturday if mail is scheduled to arrive, notifying you of mail that will be delivered, along with a grayscale image of the front of the letter. 

You can also use the free Android and iPhone Informed Delivery app to be notified.

For more on ordering and receiving packages during the coronavirus pandemic, here's how to find household goods when Amazon and other online stores are out of stock, how to order beer and wine online, and how long the virus can survive on packages.

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