State changes vendors for unemployment payment debit cards

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As part of a change to State of Delaware banking processes, the Office of State Treasurer and the Department of Labor have announced a change in unemployment benefits for those without checking accounts.

The system is using U.S. Bank, a Minneapolis-based company with no branch or ATM presence in Delaware. U.S. Bank is the nation’s fifth-largest bank, with its branch footprint mainly in the Midwest and West.

By the end of this month, the state will move unemployment debit cards to the U.S. Bank ReliaCard, which offers additional cardholder benefits. Individuals currently using direct deposit will not be affected by the update.

Recipients will receive a letter from U.S. Bank in the mail. The letter will contain information about the new debit card program and will remind individuals that they can enroll in direct deposit to increase ease-of-use.

For those not enrolling in direct deposit by January 31, 2020, a new card will be distributed by mail. It must be activated by the designated recipient prior to use.

The ReliaCard can be used for purchases, bill payment, and cash withdrawal from anywhere that Mastercard is accepted.

Recipients should work to ensure that the Department of Labor has a correct and current mailing address by reviewing their contact information in the Department of Labor Claimant Portal.

Those currently receiving unemployment benefits on a debit card will continue to do so, even after their new card is received until the card has a zero balance. The ReliaCard will have funds added to them on February 10, 2020 and can be used after that date.

Upon receiving the new ReliaCard, claimants will need to follow the instructions in the letter to activate their cards.

Remaining balances on the Key Bank Key2Benefits debit card will not transfer to the ReliaCard, so claimants should keep the Key Bank card and continue to use it until the balance reaches zero. Visit the Key Bank website for more information.

The change with debit cards for those without bank accounts comes after the state raised its unemployment compensation payments in 2019. Delaware had one of the lowest jobless payouts among the 50 states. (See story below).

Governor signs bill that raises jobless benefit to $400 a week

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