For the longest time, the U.S. government has issued unemployment and workers compensation payments through checks in the mail. They eventually opened the option of receiving direct deposits into a bank account, but that does not help the thousands of Americans who remain unbanked every year. In an effort to save time and money, the government approved prepaid debit cards as a new form of financial distribution. These cards will be issued starting next week.
There are substantial benefits to these new cards. Not only will they enable unemployed individuals to get their money faster, but they will also allow for cheaper withdrawals and better financial security. The cards, issued by Chase, will feature no ATM withdrawal fees for in-network ATMs. This is expected to save recipients $5 million a year.
The debit card system has been around for several years now, but the blue cards used were not affordable to maintain. With the revamped program, users will now be able to access the same money in less time for a fraction of the cost. There were many companies competing for the opportunity to provide unemployment debit cards, but Chase won the race because of its commitment to customer service and extensive ATM network. The government felt Chase would offer the best options for the country as a whole.
The government has already started the process of issuing the new gold cards, so all unemployed Americans should have theirs by the end of next week. The funds are already loaded onto the cards, and they are accepted anywhere a MasterCard can be used. If you are currently on unemployment or receiving workers compensation, check the mail for your new card.