No More Unemployment Insurance Checks - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/11/07 -Texas

No More Unemployment Insurance Checks

by Jessica Cervantez

A big change is happening for Texans who qualify for unemployment. Instead of receiving your monthly unemployment check you will now receive a TWC unemployment insurance debit card and money will get deposited straight into that account.

Diane Roth, the chair for the Texas Workforce Commission, said, "Once an individual files an unemployment insurance claim and they are eligible than they will be mailed the debit card.  Then they will call and activate that card.  And, then, each week as they qualify again the benefits will be posted to their account, so that they don't have to wait for that check to come.  They will be able to immediately access the funds available to them."

First, there was a trial period in San Antonio involving the new card. Now, Texans across the state will be receiving their unemployment funds in the form of a debit card. It works similar to a credit card, you must activate the new card, and you can check your balance online. And it works the same as cash for retail purchases.

Jon Bunn, the business development manager for WorkForce Solutions, said, "They can't go out like you and I or somebody with a regular card and charge things to it.  It's a debit card and will only take what they've been allocated from their monthly checks."

TWC provides the debit card through Chase bank, which means, you need to use Chase ATM's to avoid being charged fees. Several other states are already using the new debit card.

Again, the card system takes effect in Texas starting Monday. 

If you qualify for unemployment and have not received your information in the mail or if you need to file for benefits go to www.texasworkforce.org and click on "apply for benefits," or you can call 1-800-735-2989.

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