Job Service North Dakota will make unemployment insurance benefit payments electronically to debit cards carried by claimants, beginning in November 2007, and will stop mailing paper checks.

Job Service has partnered with U.S. Bank to issue the ReliaCard® Visa® debit card to unemployment insurance claimants. The debit card will be similar to cards U.S. Bank issues for child support and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in North Dakota, except that unlike the child support and TANF debit cards, unemployment insurance claimants will not be charged a fee when using their cards to make cash advances at banks and financial institutions that accept Visa.

Job Service North Dakota is encouraging banks and financial institutions to understand the following points when fielding questions about and accepting unemployment insurance debit cards:
• Claimants can use the card to withdraw cash from any bank or credit union that accepts Visa, and can withdraw the entire available amount on the card with no fees. (Job Service North Dakota has negotiated a contract different from child support and TANF debit cards, which may charge fees for such a withdrawal.)
• Banks and financial institutions that complete cash advances with the unemployment insurance debit cards will not be charged a fee by U.S. Bank.
• Job Service has informed claimants that in order to withdraw cash from a teller at a bank or credit union, they need to know the amount of money that is on their debit card. They can find this information for no charge at http://www.reliacard.com or by calling ReliaCard Visa customer service at 866-276-5114.
• Claimants can also withdraw money for free from any U.S. Bank or MoneyPass® ATM in the state.
• Claimants can withdraw cash at any other Visa/PLUS® ATM for $1.50 per transaction plus any fee the ATM owner may charge.
• Unemployment insurance claimants who have additional questions about their debit cards may contact Job Service at 701-328-4995 or ReliaCard Visa customer service at 866-276-5114.

In the near future, Job Service will also begin providing the option of direct deposit. This option will allow claimants to have their benefit payments deposited directly into an existing bank account.

If you have questions concerning this process, please contact Michelle Jenks at 701-328-2878 or mjenks@nd.gov or Darren Brostrom at 701-328-2791 or dbrostro@nd.gov.

Link: http://www.nd.gov/dfi/news/alerts/doc/Debit%20Card%20News%20for%20Banks%202007-10-30_FINAL.pdf