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Your stimulus check might still be in the mail. Here's how to track it through USPS

The deadline has passed for the IRS to send out second stimulus payments, but yours could still be on the way. Use this postal service tool to track your stimulus check right to your mailbox, so you don't accidentally throw it away.

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

Angela Lang/CNET

Second stimulus payments were cut off by the IRS and Treasury last week due to hitting their deadline. However, if your check of up to $600 per person made the Jan. 15 deadline, it's still possible your paper check or EIP debit card is in the mail. However, if you don't receive your stimulus check by the end of this week, read on for what to do. 

To find out if your payment made the cutoff, the IRS and USPS each have a service that, when the two are used together, can let you track your second stimulus check right to your mailbox. The IRS' stimulus check tracker tool contains information about your payment schedule, how your money will arrive, your second stimulus check total and if there's been an error processing your check. (You can also ask the IRS to trace your payment.) If you discover your payment didn't make the deadline, however, you'll know you have to wait till you file your 2020 taxes this year to claim the stimulus money as a rebate

If you see that your check is coming in the mail, that's a good time to sign up for a 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 second check. Here, we'll walk you through how you can use the USPS service to monitor your payment's arrival in the mail. (P.S. Here's President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus plans, including a third stimulus check.) This story is updated often.

Informed Delivery: How the USPS tool works, and why you should 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 second 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 payment 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 an estimate of your total, what we know about a third stimulus check, what happens if you were overpaid and how some of your rights have changed for the better with a second stimulus check.