Is your third stimulus payment in the mail? Track your check with this USPS service – CNET

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


Angela Lang/CNET

Already this week, $442 million worth of stimulus checks have gone out in the mail, the IRS and US Treasury said, with more payments through the postal service coming in the next weeks to qualified Americans. That means if you expect your third stimulus payment to arrive in the mail as a paper check or EIP debit card instead of through direct deposit, it’s time to keep an eye out for that envelope containing your money.

The IRS and US Postal Service each have a service that, when used together, will let you track your $1,400 payment right to your mailbox. The IRS stimulus check tracker tool contains information about your payment schedule, when and how your money will arrive and if there’s been an error processing your check. But it doesn’t give you the details on when to expect your payment in the mail.

To see that your mailed payment is on the way to your mailbox, you’ll want to sign up for the free USPS service called Informed Delivery that shows you when all of your letters have been scanned, are in transit and have been delivered to your home — including your third check. Here, we’ll walk you through how you can use the USPS service to monitor your payment’s arrival in the mail. This story is updated often.

Informed Delivery: How the USPS service works, and why you want to use it

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 — this includes, of course, 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 scanned by the post office, not just your stimulus check. You can cancel the service at any time. 


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How to set up Informed Delivery to track your stimulus check directly to 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 stimulus check 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.

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