Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Glitches stymie stimulus effort

I received my Economic Impact Payment (EIP) about a week ago in the form of a prepaid debit card, but that was not at all apparent. The envelope it arrived in appeared to be yet another credit card solicitation, including an incorrect last name. I almost tossed it in the trash, which I’m sure many people did, but decided to check online and discovered it was actually our $2,400 stimulus check. When I called the Money Network Cardholder Services, who distributed the EIP, they explained that the government made numerous mistakes with names but would not issue new cards, and it would be fine to use the card as is. 
When I contacted my bank about transferring the funds into my checking account, I was told this cannot be done with an incorrect name. After re-calling Money Network and a confusing series of automated responses, the money may have been transferred to my bank account, but that was not at all apparent. I will check back with my bank in several days once it hopefully clears. I received no prior statement from the government that a prepaid card was on its way, nor was it clear that we were eligible for a stimulus check. A week after the check arrived, I received a letter from our president, touting how everything is going to be fine and our country will be better than ever. 
This whole process seems woefully inept. Offering no prior statement about these prepaid cards that look like junk mail with incorrect names is a disturbing way to distribute billions of our tax dollars. Is this an intentional plan, so many citizens throw them in the trash? Or is this just another example of our government’s incompetence, as is their response to the coronavirus?
Rick Ceballos
Bristol

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