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For Immediate Release
Contact: Kerry Koonce: (515) 281-9646

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State Launches Debit Cards for Unemployment Insurance Payments

DES MOINES – Iowa Workforce Development has transitioned to an all electronic system for paying unemployment insurance claims. Individuals will now have the option of direct deposit or the new debit card system for receiving their benefits.

“By implementing an all electronic process for dispersing unemployment payments, IWD will swiftly deliver benefits to eligible individuals,” indicated Iowa Workforce Development Director Elisabeth Buck.

Debit cards and direct deposit provide benefits on a quicker time frame. Paper checks are issued every two weeks with an obvious mail lag time, while debit cards and direct deposit payments are issued weekly.

“In addition to the benefits provided to Iowans receiving unemployment benefits, the department will decrease mailing costs associated with paper checks by $150,000 a year,” Buck stated.

An all electronic system eliminates the potential for lost or missing checks, reduces concerns related to getting a check cashed on time, and with the debit cards, funds can be accessed anywhere Visa® debit cards are accepted.

As of Monday, October 20, 2008, Iowans filing for unemployment benefits will automatically be signed up for the debit card option unless direct deposit is selected. Current recipients wishing to switch to a debit card may do so by contacting one of the 55 Iowa Workforce Development Centers across the state.


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