DEAR SUN SPOTS: Below is an excerpt and link from an article in the Washington Post (published on Sept. 11) about missing stimulus checks. This is in response to a recent question from a reader. I realize there may not be room in your column for the entire article, but perhaps there are some nuggets you can print to help readers negotiate the process. — No name, Waterford

ANSWER: The above-mentioned article can be found in its entirety at: . In a nutshell, the IRS will be mailing letters to those who haven’t logged on to to determine whether they’re eligible for a stimulus payment.

People who don’t normally file a tax return or don’t receive certain federal benefits have until Oct. 15 to use the non-filers tool at You don’t need earned income or a job to qualify for a stimulus payment.

If you’re a parent and don’t normally file a federal return because of low earnings, the IRS doesn’t know if you have children who qualify you for the extra $500 stimulus payment. Even though their payments were sent automatically, parents still must use the non-filers tool to claim the additional funds for their eligible dependent children.

Did you accidentally throw away the debit card with the stimulus payment? The article reads, “Many people received their stimulus payments on a pre-loaded debit card. The problem was the IRS sent the stimulus debit cards without direct communication to taxpayers that it was coming. So, when the cards arrived in a plain envelope that didn’t indicate it came from the IRS, many people mistook it for junk mail or a scam and threw away the cards. That resulted in the Treasury Department having to mail more than 788,000 letters telling people how to collect their money if they tossed the payment out by mistake. Those cards, sent in May and June, were issued by MetaBank and came in a plain envelope from a company called Money Network Cardholder Services.

This time, to help avoid the same mistake made with the stimulus debit cards and avoid fraudulent copycats, the IRS has posted a copy of its letter at

I do hope this helps people who are still waiting for their stimulus checks.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Is there anyone in the area who recycles used greeting cards?

I have many birthday, and Father’s and Mother’s Day cards to give away. Maybe some organization could make use of them. Thank you for a great column. — Clara, Roxbury

ANSWER: The information below regarding SHAREcenter is a good match for your request, Clara. You may also want to call the Activities Director at nearby assisted living facilities and childcare centers, too.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: SHAREcenter would love to recycle and repurpose your discarded tennis balls. Just drop them off (look for sign) at our Lewiston center at 880 Lisbon Street, at the door on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 5:30, on Wednesdays from 9 3 p.m., and on the first two Saturdays of the month from 9 a.m. until noon. — Diane, no town

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: