With the COVID-19 pandemic stretching on, President Biden signed an executive order (EO) to direct an all-of-agency effort to help those most impacted by the pandemic. In accordance with that EO, the Department of Treasury is working to change the way it delivers economic impact payments, according to a Jan. 22 release.
Treasury is focusing on three main objectives in revamping its delivery system: establishing an online tool, analyzing any unserved households, and looking to reissue any unclaimed checks.
“Treasury will work to stand up an effort to help households who have not yet been able to access their stimulus payments get much-needed relief. As many as 8 million households may be eligible for but have not yet received payments from the CARES Act signed in March; many of these households could be legally entitled to as much as $1,200 per adult,” the department said in the release.
One of the biggest hauls for Treasury will be setting up the online tool, but it will use lessons learned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) last year to do it. Treasury will build upon the process IRS used last year when the agency worked with outside partners to create an online sign-up system for households that had not yet filed for tax returns to input the information necessary to receive their stimulus checks.
The online tool Treasury is working on will allow people who have not filed taxes for 2020 to sign up and input the information necessary to receive their checks. While a lot of the emphasis will be put on this tool, Treasury is also undertaking efforts to reach those without internet access and non-English speakers.
Treasury is also undertaking an effort to analyze and better understand the unserved households. Treasury and the IRS will be looking at households that are eligible for but have not yet received or filed for economic impact payments. The goal of such analysis is to see if there are pockets of eligible but unserved households in certain zip codes that would benefit from greater government outreach.
Treasury will also look to reissue payments that were claimed and not cashed, both via check and debit cards.