California Stimulus: If You Lost or Threw Out Your Middle Class Tax Refund, You Can Have It Replaced

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/AP/Shutterstock (13629730a)California Gov.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP/Shutterstock / Rich Pedroncelli/AP/Shutterstock

According to the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) site, the state has already issued $7,508,156,450 billion in Middle Class Tax Refunds (MCTR) — 6,956,431 payments via direct deposit and 6,856,281 in debit cards. However, some Californians have thrown out or destroyed debit cards after receiving them, mistaking them as junk mail or scams.

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According to ABC7, part of the problem comes is in properly identifying the debit cards as real MCTR payments. Fortunately, any cards lost or ruined in haste can be replaced by contacting Money Network, which is coordinating the debit cards.

The FTB site has created a page to help eligible MCTR recipients accurately identify their debit card payments. MCTR debit cards will come in an envelope that states, “Not a bill or an advertisement. Important information about your Middle Class Tax Refund.” The return address on the envelope will be a post office box in Omaha, NE and the card itself may or may not have an EMV chip.

The State of California FTB started sending out MCTR payments of up to $1,050 to approximately 23 million of its eligible residents on Oct. 7. The 18 million total payments, totaling $9.5 billion, is the largest relief program of its kind in California state history.

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Eligible Californians who have yet to receive their MCTR payments will get them soon either by direct deposit or by a debit card coordinated through Money Network.

Who Will Receive Their MCTR Payment Via Debit Card?

Per the California Franchise Tax Board website, eligible residents will receive their MCTR in the form of a debit card if they:

  • Filed a paper tax return
  • Had a balance due
  • Received your Golden State Stimulus (GSS) payment by check
  • Received your tax refund by check regardless of filing method
  • Received your 2020 tax refund by direct deposit but have since changed your banking institution or bank account number
  • Received an advance payment from your tax service provider or paid your tax preparer fees using your tax refund

In general, Middle Class Tax Refunds are tiered based on a resident’s adjusted gross income (AGI), with larger payments going to those with lower incomes. The maximum rebate of $1,050 is possible for married couples with multiple dependents who earn less than $150,000 per year.

Single filers making up to $250,000 and couples making up to $500,000 qualify for at least a partial payment but individuals with a 2020 adjusted gross income of $250,001 or higher, and joint filers with an AGI of $500,001 or higher do not qualify for the MCTR.

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How to Replace Your California Middle Class Tax Refund Debit Card

If you have lost or ruined your card in error, you can get it replaced by calling Money Network at 1-800-240-0223 and pressing option “3” for card replacement.

For any questions regarding the MCTF and activating your debit card payment, contact Money Network’s customer support at 1-800-542-9332 or via the online chat at

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Eligibility for the MCTR is based on 2020 state income tax returns, filing status and dependents. To determine if you are eligible and to see how much of a rebate you may receive, use the estimate tool at

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.
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