• Millions of Americans are still checking each day for a coronavirus stimulus check update, hoping to receive their direct payment from the federal government soon.
  • The IRS has been sending out payments of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples, with an extra $500 per eligible child, during the pandemic.
  • The US Postal Service has a feature that many people might not be aware of that lets taxpayers get a better sense of when their money will be delivered via the mail.

Many of the people likely to benefit the most from the coronavirus stimulus checks the federal government started sending out back in March are, unfortunately, still waiting to get their money that was supposed to help blunt some of the economic pain of the ongoing pandemic. Now that we’ve passed the IRS deadline for submitting your bank details for direct deposits, everyone who didn’t do so — which could be anyone from elderly taxpayers on fixed incomes to hourly workers whose time in front of a computer may be limited — is waiting on their check to arrive in paper form via the postal service, and is likely checking their stimulus check status daily in frustration. All the more so, when you consider the fact that lawmakers probably aren’t going to agree on a new round of stimulus checks anytime soon. This is it, in other words, for the foreseeable future.

But while it won’t help you get your check any faster, there is a neat solution for tracking it with a bit more specificity that most people probably aren’t using and may not even be aware of.

This solution is the Postal Service’s “Informed Delivery” feature, and it sends you images of all the packages and parcels scheduled to arrive in your mailbox soon. Among its many benefits is that it takes some uncertainty out of the equation, which is great for people like me who live in an apartment where the mail is often put in the wrong person’s box. In other words, this feature gives you at least some assurance that the sender did their part, and your mail is en route and about to arrive.

According to the postal service, benefits of Informed Delivery include:

It should go without saying, this is a service that tracks all of your mail, so it’s not specific to your stimulus check — and it’s not even a new service. But some of you have been complaining about the vagueness of the IRS’ “Get My Payment” tool that’s a little ambiguous when it comes to letting you know the status of your stimulus check delivery. That’s not what you get with this feature. It’s essentially the postal service saying — here’s a scan of the packages we’re putting in your mailbox at a given time.

Moreover, this feature is pretty easy to set up and straightforward to use. Either use your existing USPS.com personal account or head to that address and sign up for one. Then, verify your identity and your home address where you receive mail. That’s pretty much it, and in addition to getting a much better read on when your stimulus check will be delivered, you can also view Informed Delivery notifications from any smartphone, tablet, or computer.


Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.