Our city is doing everything possible to deliver relief to Angelenos hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic -- protecting lives and livelihoods. Our response efforts have to reach all of our families in a fair and equitable fashion, and with stimulus checks on their way from the federal government, we have to make sure each household can access the money they are entitled to.

To strengthen our recovery, we have to connect anyone who qualifies for an Economic Impact Payment to these vital benefits as soon as possible. That begins with expanding the number of people who have safe and affordable bank accounts.

We are here to help.

We’re partnering with LA County’s Department of Consumer and Business Affairs and its Bank On Los Angeles County initiative led by the Center for Financial Empowerment to connect you to resources to open a safe and affordable bank account.  

To learn more about how to receive your COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments, click here.

To find out more about the Bank On initiative, click here.

Resources for Unbanked Angelenos

Many Angelenos have started to receive their Economic Impact Payments -- one-time cash assistance totaling $1,200 per adult and an additional $500 per child age 16 and under. Anyone can check out how much they qualify to receive here.

Those who filed their 2019 or 2018 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax return with direct deposit information included are among the first to receive their payment into their bank account.

But many taxpayers don’t have a bank account. The City is partnering with the Bank On Los Angeles County initiative, led by the County’s Department of Consumer and Business Affairs and the Center for Financial Empowerment, to share information on affordable banking options.

Opening a Safe Bank Account Online Today

Due to COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines, opening an account online may be your preferred option. The requirements to open an account online will vary by institution.

Generally, you’ll need the following:

●      Social Security Number

●      State-Issued ID

●      Driver’s License or Passport

●      Mailing address

●      Date of Birth

Bank branches are still open and considered an essential service, although some branches have reduced their business hours. Information or documents that cannot be verified online may be presented in person at the nearest bank branch location. Please call the institution ahead of time or visit their website for specific instructions.

Benefits of Opening a “Bank On” Account

  • Affordable: Bank On accounts have low to no monthly fees and a low minimum opening balance requirement, almost all under $5 per month.
  • No Surprise Fees: If you are dealing with the financial impact of the virus, the last thing you need is a surprise fee – especially for overdraft, insufficient funds, and inactivity. You should always feel confident that you are in control of your money.
  • Free Online Services: Direct deposit, remote bill pay, low balance alerts, debit and swipe capability, and smartphone apps and other tools to help you manage and track money at no extra cost.

Visit Bank On Los Angeles County for participating institutions.

Where can I cash my check for free?

If you are having difficulty opening a bank account or cashing your Economic Impact Payment, we have banking partners who will cash your stimulus payment at no cost, without requiring an account.

Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, and Union Bank are the first to announce they will waive the cashing fee for non-account holders. Go to BankOn for an updated list of these banking institutions.

For more information on financial empowerment resources and Bank On Los Angeles County, please visit: dcba.lacounty.gov/bankon.

Banking initiative

The CARES Act includes nearly $300 billion for direct payments to low- and moderate-income individuals to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet countless Americans who were already struggling before the outbreak are at risk of not receiving this critical financial lifeline. The Mayor’s Office is leading an inter-agency, regional, and coordinated approach to remove as many barriers as possible and bring this economic support to where it is needed most.