Starting today, DOLIR will begin offering Missourians eligible to receive unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Second Injury Fund payments, and disaster unemployment benefits, as well as those displaced workers covered by the Trade Act, the benefit of having funds deposited to a debit card. Claimants who utilize the electronic payment method will receive their money faster – within two business days of being processed – and no longer will need to wait for the mail to deliver their checks.
The new debit cards also are expected to reduce fraud by eliminating stolen, lost and misdirected checks and can be used at thousands of ATMs and point-of-purchase locations across the state, such as grocery stores or gas stations.
The debit card program is administered by the DOLIR’s Division of Employment Security in conjunction with Central Bank, the financial institution awarded the contract for providing the debit card service, aptly called “Missouri Access.”
The program’s launch includes the implementation of the pilot program to ensure the debit card process is working smoothly and effectively. During this test phase, a small sampling of claimants will receive their payments under the new system. This phase of the program will allow DOLIR to identify any needed improvements prior to expanding the program to a broader customer base.
Missouri claimants will automatically be enrolled in the debit card program. Persons who instead opt to have their payments sent directly to a bank account will have seven days after filing an initial claim to file a direct deposit application.
For more information about the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, please visit the Internet site, www.dolir.mo.gov.