Solve It 7: Stimulus Struggle

With COVID-19 crushing parts of the economy, many Americans are strapped for cash.

Jim Cavanaugh and his wife are like many retirees. The New Hampshire couple lives on a fixed income. So they were pleased to hear about the government’s stimulus check program, which gives up to $1,200 to millions of Americans.

“In my case, it’s $2,400 for the two of us,” says Jim.

Many Americans received their money through direct deposit, which is how Jim figured he would get his.

“I was checking the bank statements [regularly],” he says. But the deposit never came. “It got to the point where I just forgot about it,” he says.

Then in June, Jim got a letter from the IRS. Inside it was a nondescript debit card.

“When I first opened it up I thought it was just an advertisement or something,” he says. “After I got reading it, I realized that it was the stimulus card.”

Jim called the number on the card to activate it and set up his PIN number. When he went to use it, he found out he had a problem.

“It kept coming up that I didn’t have the right PIN number,” he says.

Jim tried entering the number several times, but it wasn’t working. He had a card with $2,400 on it that he couldn’t use. Frustrated by his debit card dilemma, Jim called the customer service number on the card to try and reset the pin. But, in order to reach customer service for help, he had to enter his four-digit PIN number.

Jim needed his PIN number in order to reach someone who could help him change his PIN number. Talk about a Catch-22!

“Nothing worked,” he says. “I was getting frustrated.”

That’s when Jim reached out to Solve It 7.

We called the same number Jim did, but instead of trying to reach customer service for the company that issues the debit card, we tried another option. We pressed “2” for assistance with a lost or stolen debit card. It worked and took us to a point where we needed Jim’s social security number.

Armed with this new strategy, Jim took over and got results.

“You helped me get through with the right person to contact,” he says. “If it wasn’t for that, I’d probably be still frustrated.”

Jim was able to reach a representative who then helped him reset his PIN. He used it on his next trip to the grocery store.

“It’s nice to go in and be able to use it,” he says.

It cleared up Jim’s PIN problem and brought his stimulus card situation to an end.

“I really appreciate everything you’ve done,” says Jim. “And I want to thank Solve It 7.”

Do you have a problem you can’t seem to solve on your own? Let us give it a shot. Emails us at or give us a call at 617-367-7777.

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