Debit Cards Replace Unemployment Checks

The Employment Development Department (EDD) will be issuing debit cards in place of unemployment checks, beginning July 8th. The new EDD Debit Cards will offer a faster, more convenient, and more secure way for individuals to receive their benefits. The EDD has also created an informative YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/user/CaliforniaEDD) explaining features of the card, such as how to use it and avoid fees, as well providing important information customers need to know about their transition to the card. The card will be good for three years and may be used like any other Visa card to withdraw cash at an ATM and make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted. There is also a direct deposit transfer option so customers can choose to have some or all of their benefits transferred from their card account to their own personal bank account.

The new EDD debit card is one of the largest prepaid card programs in the nation, covering both the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program as well as the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. As there are 1.2 million unemployed Californians who receive unemployment benefits, the debit cards will be an important cost-saving method of distributing billions of dollars. The roll-out is expected to take a few months to complete as the EDD issues about 10,000 cards a day.

Click here for the full press-release: http://edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/pdf/nwsrel11-29.pdf