When will my stimulus check arrive in the mail? You can track its arrival via USPS

If you're reading this, chances are the IRS is mailing your stimulus check to you. The deadline for direct deposit has passed, but don't panic. You can use a free United States Postal Service app to find out when exactly your payment is coming your way. The USPS mail-tracking tool is known as Informed Delivery. Sign up and it'll notify you when your check is about to arrive, and even show you a photo of your envelope.

There are some limitations to the USPS Informed Delivery service, so you might prefer to start by tracking your payment through the online IRS tool. It should give you a ballpark estimate for when your check will come out. The USPS tool verifies that it's actually been processed by the postal service and is in transit. Moreover, it will actually notify you on the day your check should be delivered to your home.

A word before you begin. Although the USPS has streamlined its online tracking tool, which is called Get My Payment, some people might still notice they have problems with the IRS portal, like an error message that's hard to discern, or issues identifying who you are. If you run into trouble, here are 12 possible explanations for what's going on and how you might be able to work around them. And if you're wondering what happens next, here's what we know about the possibility of a second round of stimulus checks.

Make sure you're eligible for Informed Delivery

When the USPS runs mail through its automated mail sorting equipment, it creates a digital image of the front of all letter-size mail, and that includes your stimulus check. The Informed Delivery program uses this digitally captured information to notify you when each piece of mail is on the way.

The service is available to many residential and personal PO box addresses but not businesses. It also won't work for some multiunit buildings where the postal service hasn't yet identified each unit.

Here's how to check whether it's available in your area:

1. Head to the Postal Service's Informed Delivery page and tap the Sign Up for Free button.

2. Enter your mailing address, and tap Continue.

If the service is available, you can continue to set up an account.

Set up the Informed Delivery service

If you're eligible, here's how to set up your account.

1. On the Postal Service's Informed Delivery page, if you haven't yet, tap Sign Up for Free.

2. After you enter your mailing address and confirm it's in the service, accept the terms and conditions and tap Continue.

3. On the next page, choose your username, password and security questions; enter your contact information; and then 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 the postal service to mail a code to you. If neither method works for you, may also be given the option to visit a post office to verify your identity in person.

How to see what's coming in the mail

The IRS said it can take three business days to activate your account after you set it up. Once it's live, you will receive an email each morning Monday through Saturday if mail is scheduled to arrive, notifying you of mail that will be delivered, along with a grayscale image of the front of the letter.

You can also use the free Android and iPhone Informed Delivery app to be notified.

For more on ordering and receiving packages during the coronavirus pandemic, here's how to find household goods when Amazon and other online stores are out of stock, how to order beer and wine online, and how long the virus can survive on packages.